The first time I walked by the Penny-Farthing Press booth at Comic-Con, I remember thinking that it looked different from all the other booths. It stood out because it looked neat, well organized, and the books looked unique and of high quality. The people running it also seemed like they were super nice and friendly. My interest was peaked enough that I went over to take a look. I'm glad I did, because in regards to storytelling and artwork, the books are indeed of the highest quality. I quickly fell in love with two of their titles: Decoy and The Loch.
Created by Courtney Huddleston, Decoy is a charming series about a cute little alien who gets stranded on Earth. An outsider on his own planet, Decoy just can't seem to get the hang of being violent like the others of his species. The Metas are a shape-shifting, barbaric race who hunt the peace-loving and gentle Kranch creatures. On a mission to Earth to capture a fleeing Kranch, Decoy refuses to display any acts of violence like the other Metas. His kindness and compassion result in him being abandoned. Then there's Officer Bobby Luck, a rookie cop who's conceited, inexperienced and an annoyance to his new partner Tessa Moreno. His poor judgement nearly gets him killed, if not for the lovable alien who makes the ultimate sacrifice. Seeing a creature in need, Decoy creates a symbiotic union and bonds himself to Luck forever. Now, one cannot survive without the other. Together, they become the ultimate duo, fighting crime and saving the world!
Decoy is the perfect blend of Sci-Fi, adventure and humor. I love how the books don't take themselves too seriously. The stories are fun and suspenseful, and just when the action starts to feel a little tense, its humor relieves you. The relationship between Luck and Decoy is especially touching. As time goes on, they not only depend on each other physically, but also emotionally. They don't speak the same language, and they don't need to. Each one understands what the other one needs, and together they make a perfect pair. They're pretty darn good at solving crimes as well, often cracking jokes at the same time.
While reading Decoy I came to learn and to appreciate the fact that things are not always what they seem. In the face of evil, as on Decoy's home planet, it is possible for good to exist. In Officer Luck's case, a kind gesture and a little help from a friend really can make a positive difference. I was uplifted and inspired while reading these books.
This beautifully illustrated series includes several graphic novel titles as well as individual comic book issues. While Decoy is definitely an all ages character, I personally think the books would be most enjoyed by the young adult age group (and adults), as some of the monster images might be a little frightening for younger readers.
For the younger children, The Loch is the perfect series for them to read. These beautifully bound hardback books are great for those who are easing into chapter books yet still rely on pictures for comprehension. This appealing trilogy was created and written by Marlaine Maddux and is gorgeous to look at. The lush illustrations by Courtney Huddleston support the brilliant storytelling, making this reading experience an absolute pleasure.
I've always been fascinated by stories surrounding The Loch Ness Monster legend. The Loch Trilogy embraces this legend, but puts a different spin on it with the creation of a whole other world that exists beneath the Loch Ness. This underwater realm is full of colorful creatures, including one young plesiosaur named Nessandra. Together with her friends, she must complete a Knowledge Journey in order to fulfill her destiny as leader of the Loch. The books are a culmination of their adventures along the way and all the lessons that they learn.
Each book is so enjoyable to read that I couldn't wait to read the next one in the series. You can really identify with these characters as they learn about their relationships with the world and with each other. At the end of the trilogy I felt as if I had grown up and become a different person, just as they had. The thing I love the most about these books is that in addition to being fun to read, they are also educational. I learned so much about geography just by reading them, which is amazing because geography is usually something that I struggle with. Not only that but at the end of each book there is a glossary for "drywalkers" (humans). These include terms and unusual words from the books and are very useful and interesting. There is also a Loch comic book and short animated DVD, which are equally delightful.
You can purchase Decoy and The Loch at the Penny-Farthing Press website. I highly recommend them!
WANT TO WIN? There will be two winners: one winner will receive two graphic novels in the Decoy line, The Original Series and Storm of the Century. Another winner will receive a Loch Trilogy. To enter, leave a comment on this post and tell me which set of books you would choose if you win. Please include your email address. The deadline to enter is Monday, July 14th at Midnight. This contest is open to readers from the U.S., Canada and Overseas.
UPDATE: The winners are #1 gkstratos and #14 melissa. Congratulations!