Friday, August 31, 2007

Chickenhare: The House of Klaus

Chris Grine

This all-ages graphic novel features an unlikely hero who happens to be half-chicken, half-hare. Together with a couple of other strange misfit friends, he does his best to outwit the exotic animal collector, Mr. Klaus (an eccentric taxidermist), and escape from his clutches into the cold winter night. This is a fun chase story with likeable characters and fluid storytelling. Grine demonstrates a superior cartooning ability as he folds his well-designed characters into the brisk sequence of events. I would be surprised if Grine weren't influenced by Jeff Smith, as this certainly had a certain flavor that I got from the great Bone saga that I didn't necessarily feel when I read similar titles like, say, Castle Waiting. Although the story isn't as dense as these other works, there's enough there to keep you entertained all the way through. It's a quick read. It's a simple little story. But I think that kids everywhere will eat this sort of thing up. It seems to be aimed at a younger audience than some of the titles I've mentioned. More like Owly. But the creator is good enough to keep the rest of us enthralled through the tale as well. B

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