Review also includes:
Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World, 978-0141376905
In this new series of graphic novels for children, a young boy from another world crash-lands into a boring, American town. He knows that his name is Hilo, but he has no idea why he’s on Earth or how he got there.
Hilo is discovered by D.J. and his friend, Gina. Nothing exciting has ever happened to D.J. This is because he is not really good at anything. He has four siblings who are all awesome at something – from tennis to chemistry – but D.J…well, he’s just ordinary. This fact is made all the more apparent to D.J. when the most extraordinary boy in history suddenly smashes into his life (literally, almost destroying D.J.’s clubhouse).
Hilo might eat everything he finds, and he might be able to shoot lasers from his hands, and he is being tracked down by a host of angry robots, but the story is in many ways more about D.J. Confronted with evil robot monsters like the Rant (robotic ant), who want to munch his mates, D.J. finds that he has extraordinary powers of his own, and that Hilo is going to need his help.
An award-winning cartoonist and comic book scriptwriter, Judd Winick has created an innovative format that is genuinely original. The book has all the excitement and colour of short-form comic strips, but the story is of sufficient length and complexity to sustain the interest of more able readers. A master of his form, Winnick uses simple yet sensitive staging and composition to provide very emotional moments, such as the view of a departing friend through a rainy window at dusk. Drama quickly becomes comedy again (Hilo is outstanding at delivering witty one-liners) and comedy is rapidly replaced by action, as the three friends grab readers’ hands and whisk them from one adventure to the next.
Hilo’s arrival may have been unexpected but it will certainly be welcomed by a host of young readers, who will be hoping he has no plans to return home any time soon.
The theme of friendship remains prominent in this second episode. Gina, D.J. and Hilo pledge to keep one another safe, but will that be enough when Hilo’s true nemesis arrives? With clues and cliff-hangers arriving with each new chapter, the Hilo series promises to continue racing from one dimension to the next.