J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Ploog
I was a huge fan of the Abadazad books when the floppies were being released by Crossgen years ago. The transition to children’s books, with less of a focus on the comic aspect of the series, really changed the title, and in the end, it didn’t work as well, and after two volumes, the new editions from Hyperion/Disney have been canceled, a third book published overseas didn’t even make it to the states. Anyone with any interest left in the series at this point can still purchase the book from Amazon UK, but don’t expect to see this material on the shelves state-side, at least not in this form. This particular book, The Puppet, The Professor and The Prophet, follows Kate as she navigates through Abadazad, picking up new traveling acquaintances on her quest to free her kidnapped brother from The Lanky Man, including Professor Headstrong (a big smart head who loves to hear himself talk), Mary Annette (a living marionette) and Mr. Gloom (an off-his-rocker gloom-and-doom type). I really wasn’t too into this book when I began reading it, but as it proceeded, I began to enjoy traveling though the strange landscape of Abadazad once more, especially with the addition of the cold, sarcastic Mary Annette. But in the end, I just don’t like the prose much, which I’m sure turned off many of the original followers of this series. Kate’s too whiny and the sporadic illustrations just don’t bring the story to life like the comic did. It lost most of its magic in the transition to this silly hybrid (exactly why does all of the prose have a book page border?) and in the end, most of the readers were left unimpressed. It’s unfortunate that Abadazad has been canceled, but leaving it behind in its current format may actually be a blessing.