Monday, April 2, 2007

Scary Godmother

Scary Godmother, by Jill Thompson

Hannah Marie, a cute-as-a-button little girl, is frightened by her older cousin, Jimmy, on Halloween. Who comes to the rescue? Why, her Scary Godmother, of course! She takes Hannah to the Fright Side to meet Mr. Pettibone, the skeleton in the closet, Harry the obnoxious werewolf, the royal vampire family, Max, Ruby and Orson, and Bug-A-Boo, the most loveable monster-under-the-bed you’ve ever seen.

If I ever wanted to be somebody else, I’d be Jill Thompson. If you know anything about comics, you know about Jill – she’s this incredible woman with bright red curls and the most vivid imagination, not to mention supernatural artistic talent. (Not coincidentally, Scary Godmother is a dead ringer for Jill.) She’s a multiple Eisner Award winner who has drawn for Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Sandman, and many others. I loved her manga, At Death’s Door, so much that I bought two original pages, and only Jill could do a children’s book featuring Neil Gaiman’s seven Endless siblings (The Little Endless Storybook, recently re-released in softcover). In Scary Godmother, Jill has created the most loveable cast of characters you’re likely to come across in a comic. These stories have it all: tricks, treats (really, recipes and everything!), friendly monsters, touching friendships, high adventure, and lots of heart.

The denizens of the Fright Side have made the transition to the TV screen in two computer animated adventures, Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktakular and Scary Godmother Vol. 2; The Revenge of Jimmy (available on DVD and showing on Cartoon Network in October), which we watch all year long. We sing along, call out our favorite lines, and generally dance around and act crazy. Instead of losing something in the translation from comic to animation, Jill’s characters really come to life. I’ve taken the animated voices with me – I hear them (and the theme music) very clearly when reading the books.

Though there haven’t been any new Scary Godmother books in a few years, the hardback, full-color books are available at Cosmic Therapy or on Amazon, and the comics might well be in your local back issue bins.

Shelby says: I love Scary Godmother because all the monsters are funny and not so scary. It’s fairy taleyish and Scary Godmother is half a witch and half a fairy godmother. Bug-A-Boo is a monster with lots of eyes and he goes under kids’ beds and scares ‘em, but it’s just his job. Harry the werewolf loves to eat and he wears pajamas with sheep on them. He’s such a jerk! Skully is a skeleton who goes in all the closets and keeps everybody’s secrets. The vampire family doesn’t really eat people, they eat blood pizza – no garlic ‘cause they’re allergic! There’s a mom and a dad who are the King and Queen of the Night and they have a son named Orson. Orson is friends with Hannah, a little human girl. They are friends and they try to save each other all the time. Scary Godmother is nice and she tries to help everybody. I think anyone would like it because it’s not violent at all and it’s not too scary, just funny. You could read it to little kids and they wouldn’t be scared.

Sarah says: I like Harry and Bug-A-Boo – they are really funny. Harry loves to eat all the time and Bug-A-Boo’s just really funny and nice. I like it when Jill Thompson makes up funny words like “Daily Boogle” and “gross-ery store.” I sorta liked it when Scary Godmother and Harry were in the punkin’ patch with Hannah and they were making treats. They made a soybean butter and pickle sandwich and it made Harry’s mouth stick together. Scary Godmother really likes pickles.


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