Monday, April 2, 2007

Lions, Tigers, and Bears

Lions, Tigers, and Bears by Mike Bullock (Image)

Why is it some people just seem to be good at everything? In his wide-ranging career Mike Bullock has been a musician, manager, promoter, producer, journalist, PR Director, and editor, and he has written successfully in almost every genre. Nowadays, he’s writing The Phantom for Moonstone and, lucky for us, he writes an all ages comic called Lions, Tigers, and Bears for his own Runemaster Studios.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears is, at heart, a simple, old-fashioned good vs. evil story. The evil Beasties want to eat children and the brave and valiant Stuffed Animal Militia, so cute and cuddly during the day, come to life and protect their young owners at night. It’s always very clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. The Night Pride, the lead group of big cats, are courageous and graceful, and the bears of the Crystal Castle are noble and fearless. The Beasties are drooling, malicious nasties who would like nothing better than to destroy King Bear and the Night Pride and feast on the children of the world. The children, Joey and Courtney, must face their fears and use the power of imagination to help defeat the Beasties.

The one word that keeps coming to mind when I read LTB is “powerful” – the characters are strong, the story is compelling, and the art is rich. What makes LTB great entertainment for most readers, however, may be too much for some to handle. I would recommend that if your kids are very young or easily frightened, or if they have bedtime issues at all, you read LTB first and decide if they can handle it. It’s one thing to talk about the monsters in their closet or read about them in text, but it’s quite another to see them snarling, slashing, drooling, and attacking in full color. Jack Lawrence is really good at drawing scary Beasties! There are intense fight scenes and the children are often in danger. There’s a great message to be gained in these stories about facing your fears – just be sure your kids are ready.

Shelby says: I like Lions, Tigers, and Bears because it is about stuffed animals that come alive. Joey Price gets the Night Pride stuffed animal pack from his Grandma which is a lion, two tigers, and a jaguar. Every night the Night Pride comes alive and protects Joey from the Beasties. The Beasties are evil and they come from the Stuffed Animal Kingdom into kids’ rooms through their closets. The story is good because of the whole idea of stuffed animals coming alive – I always hoped my stuffed animals were alive. The way the artist draws the Night Pride when they are stuffed animals is they have cute little faces and little tiny bodies and big heads. When they’re alive they have big muscles and their hair flies out everywhere like they’re handsome princes. When I was little, I probably would have been scared and not been able to go to sleep for a while, but now it’s not scary at all.

Sarah says: Lions, Tigers, and Bears is an absolutely great book for ages eight and up. I say that because there are a few part that would creep younger kids out. Like sometimes it’s really dramatic and it seems like the kids are going to be eaten at some points and some of the monsters are scary, even for me. Like Drool is a Beastie and he freaks me out because all that drool on his face is yucky. I like the Beasties because they’re cool and one of them is dumb and has really big teeth. I don’t have any front teeth! I like the art because it has lots of color. I love everything about this book, even the scary parts!


At January 4, 2008 at 8:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesse,FL: LTB is sooooooooo cool. They took ordinary
child fears and dreams. Using prochecy,love,friendsh
ip and turn it in to a comic. age rate would be 8-40.
7 year olds could maybe handle it. IT IS AN AWESOME


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