Sunday, June 08, 2008

Salt Water Taffy (Volume 1)

The Legend of Old Salty
Matthew Loux
Salt Water Taffy is the new all-ages series by Matthew Loux, creator of the hilarious Sidescrollers. While Salt Water Taffy isn't funny like his debut graphic novel, it is a great reading experience in a different way. The book begins with Jack and Benny driving in to Chowder Bay, Maine, where they will be spending the summer with their parents, to the dismay of Jack. Once there though, the two kids find a lot of exciting things awaiting them: mysterious shadows, a theft at the local salt water taffy shop, and most thrilling of all, a tale of a giant lobster named Old Salty, related to them by local fisherman Angus O'Neil, who claims to have grappled with the giant sea creature.
As with Sidescrollers, it took me a few pages to get used to Matthew Loux's art style, especially of the children running sidescroller-style. But once I was familiar with the cartoony drawings, I was in Loux's spell once more. Especially through the opening, there is some really beautiful scenery drawn that effectively captures the feel of the book right out of the gate. And that established tone carries through the rest of the adventure, that of a summer vacation nestled in a cozy small town alongside the coast. There's a lot of fun to be had in this first volume of Salt Water Taffy, a fine beginning for a new all-ages adventure series.

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