Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hilda

I saw the cover image from Hilda and the Bird Parade on the cover of ForeWord Reviews magazine, and investigated it, and I'm really glad that I did!  Luke Pearson's latest all-ages graphic novel wasn't available from Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago when I was looking into it, so I ordered his previous works surrounding the little blue-haired girl Hilda. 

 
Hildafolk
Luke Pearson

Hildafolk is part of UK publisher Nobrow Press' 17X23 line of graphic short stories, and is in the format of a comic, with exceptional printing quality.  This story introduces readers to Hilda, who lives in the countryside, where myths and fantasy creatures are very real.  She has a little blue fox with antlers named Twig, as a sidekick, is friends with a boy made out of wood, and otherwise lives in a warm little house with her mother.  In this short, we see her first encounters with the strange wooden boy as Hilda ventures into the hills to draw.  While there, she meets a troll, a very dangerous creature according to the book she's been reading.  There's not much going on in terms of plot in this book, but the fiery-spirited, adventurous Hilda manages to entertain readers in this magical world that Pearson has created.  Pearson has a wonderful cartoony art style that's full of vibrant colors and beautiful panel sequences.  I particularly like a snowy scene set to an orange background - it's just breath-taking - and the general warmth of the house that Hilda occupies with her mom.  This is a fantastic introduction to this all-ages fantasy world, and I highly recommend it.

Hilda and the Midnight Giant HC
Luke Pearson

Hilda and the Midnight Giant builds on the world of Hildafolk in a full-length graphic novel that sees Hilda and her mother attacked by tiny, invisible beings, before opening her eyes to a tiny world around her.  Pearson plays with the designs of the characters in this book, which look different than in Hilda's debut, but it retains that child-like fantasy and humor in an ever-expanding world.  I'm lucky I ordered this when I did since it went on backorder at Barnes & Noble following its Eisner nominations a few days later for Best Publication For Kids and for Luke Pearson himself in the Best Writer/Artist category.  With this book, I'm officially onboard the Luke Pearson bandwagon (it doesn't hurt that he's really cute), and am a huge fan of the Hilda books!

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