Friday, July 15, 2011

Family Vacation

I just returned from a camping trip with my family. It was great - hiking, fishing, cooking over the fire. The entire affair got me thinking about a graphic novel I just read.

"Bad Island"
By Doug TenNapel
For Ages 9 - 14
Think Land of the Lost meets Gilligan's Island. A sailboat vacation turns into a strange science fiction alien romp on a deserted island. Rated 3 (aliens, family bonding, peril)

Mom, dad and two children hop on a sailboat for a family vacation, get caught in an unexpected storm, wash up on a deserted island and end up in the middle of a alien kidnapping gone awry. The sporadic flashbacks to the alien war and abduction explain the strange island and it's inhabitants. Honestly though, that is not what this story is about. The aliens and strange fantasy style creatures are just here for teen interests. This tale is about family time, what it means to be a family and sticking together through thick and thin.

TenNapel made a big splash a couple years ago with "Ghostopolis" but "Bad Island" never really climbs to that level. The illustrations, reminiscent of "Kim Possible" are lively enough to carry the character personalities deep into the content, but the tale seems disjointed and a little over the top. I know what you're saying. "It's a graphic novel. Of course it's over the top." I guess I just don't buy the whole alien war/kidnapping angle.

I did, however, enjoy the castaways trying to escape the hostile island for their suburban peace bit. Each individual int he family had to learn to trust the others, lean on their strengths and work as a cohesive unit to escape. That was fun, humorous and entertaining.What can I say, it wasn't horrible and it wasn't great. Preteen boys will probably love it as they do most graphic novels. I know my son has read it several times already.

No comments:

Post a Comment