Monday, April 2, 2007

Oz the Manga & Inverloch

Things have been a bit crazy coming up on the end of the school year, so I asked the girls to choose a current favorite and fly solo on the reviews this week.

Sarah chose David Hutchison’s Oz the Manga (Antarctic Press). She’s always loved the Wizard of Oz, so when she picked up the first issue in the comic shop she was instantly hooked. She hasn’t read the original books yet, so I think part of the appeal is that some aspects of the story are new to her. It’s the only title she reminds me to look for on Wednesdays and the first one she devours when I bring it home. She insisted that we see David at Comic-Con so she could meet “the guy who makes that way cool Oz comic.” The art is beautiful and I totally dig David Hutchison’s steam-powered tin man and his gear-shaped speech bubbles! It is a little much for really young ‘uns, though – lots of scary bits. Unfortunately, though the content is appropriate for ages 7 and up, some of the ads are not! This is a creative take on Oz from a terribly talented artist that’s definitely worth checking out.

Sarah says: Oz the Manga is very different than the movie The Wizard of Oz, which I always love, so I wanted to see a new version. I think the best characters are the witch because she is creepy but beautiful at the same time and the Tin Man which I think should be called the Metal Dude. My favorite parts are when there’s lots of adventure like when the Witch of the East’s three armies get attacked by the good characters. That’s because it shows how special they are in their own different ways. It’s not really manga because you don’t read it backwards, but it has manga-style art. I think parents should read it first and decide if it’s too scary for their little darlings. I loved it, so if you like The Wizard of Oz and you want to see a different style of it, this is the comic for you!

Shelby begged me to take her to the comic shop to get Sarah Ellerton’s Inverloch (Seven Seas) after seeing a few panels of the web comic. It took the guys a few minutes to find it, but they did have it hidden away somewhere. I can see why she was so smitten – it’s a sweet fantasy story with great animation-ready art. And after reading volume one in print, she can read four more volumes online. (please insert link:

Shelby says: Inverloch is a great book. It is about romance, friendship, promises, and a tiny bit of adventure. Shiara is an elf that lost a very special person 12 years before and now the elves don’t want to find him and they don’t try. Her friend Acheron tries to help her find this person. He is a da’kor, a short, furry, mythical creature that is supposed to be mean and scary but is the total opposite in real life.

I liked how there were flashbacks because the elf kids in them were cute and the story’s nice, except for the first flashback, which has a little tiny scary part at the end of it. The art is good because it looks cute and beautiful. Inverloch looks kind of like a TV show or a movie – the style of art has the lighting of animated shows. There’s a lot of talking and it’s cool how the speaking parts are all white and the thinking parts are see-through so you know the difference. It might not be good for all ages because little kids might not understand the words and what’s going on. I would rate it ages 6 and up. It is not a little kid story at all, so adults will love it too.

Once I started reading it, I got hooked and I read it in about two hours. Every time my mom asked me something, it would take me a few minutes to get off of the book and answer her. Pretty soon she got very annoyed with me - -ha, ha!


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