Friday, August 8, 2008

Top Three Comic-Con Finds

One of the things I love most about going to San Diego Comic-Con is discovering new things to read that I probably wouldn't have heard about otherwise. This year was no exception. I'm always on the lookout for books that are suitable for all ages, and I was not disappointed with what I found. These are my top three discoveries for this year:

Dinosaurs Across America by Phil Yeh presents a fun way to learn about U.S. geography. This full color, non-fiction book follows Patrick Rabbit and his dinosaur friends as they learn fun facts about the country. Each U.S state is represented in a graphic novel style which makes for an entertaining read. It's humourous, informative and educational all at the same time - what more could you want? As a Canadian trying to learn more about the United States, I will definitely turn to this book every time.

Phil Yeh has done admirable work, having written and illustrated a myriad of comics and graphic novels. He founded Cartoonists Across America And The World, gives numerous graphic novel workshops in libraries and in schools, and travels the world promoting literacy. Dinosaurs Across America was picked as one of the best 25 graphic novels by the School Library Journal. Yeh is also one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met. Be sure to check out his website for additional great books such as The Winged Tiger and for other news.

I've always been attracted to "cute" comics, but they have to be more than just a bunch of cute pictures to make me read them. Luckily, Bumperboy And The Loud, Loud Mountain has it all - lovable characters, a charming story and of course, appealing illustrations. Written and illustrated by Debbie Huey, Bumperboy is one of those characters that draws you in to his world of Bubtopia and makes you love him. The concept is simple: Bumperboy and his best pal Bumperpup discover "borp holes" that transport them to different places where they create adventures. The book is sincere and non pretentious. I felt happy after reading it. Debbie Huey also struck me as a super sweet person. Unfortunately, the first book in the series Bumperboy Loses His Marbles is out of print so I didn't get to read that one. Huey's website however, is one of the best I've seen and you can purchase Bumberboy merchandise on there too, including t-shirts, buttons, stickers, memo pads and Bumperboy minicomics.

CryptoZooey by Steve Troop is a brand new all-ages comic book. Inspired by the death of zoologist Steve Irwin who died in 2006, CryptoZooey tells the story of a young girl Zooey, who discovers that her missing parents are world renowned cryptozoologists. From the book we learn that crptozoologists are explorers who search for living examples of mythological and legendary creatures, such as the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. I've always been fascinated by these creatures, so this book is right up my alley. The story is tons of fun, as we watch the mischeivous Zooey interact with the monsters. The illustrations are bright, spirited, and really add to the story's humorous tone. The quest to search for her missing parents left me wanting more and I can't wait for the second issue to be released. Check out the Cryptozooey website for more fun and to read the first five pages free!

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