I don't usually vary from my "publish on the 5s" policy for blog posting, but when I was doing some research for another post, I happened upon a familiar name on NBM's list of authors, Arther de Pins. He is a French artist and animator whose work I have admired for some years now, even though I could not really find much of it in English. So when I saw that he had at least one work in English from a publisher I could easily get books from, and that the book was about an amusement park run by monsters, well voila, you are reading the fruits of that happenstance.
What makes this book really work for me, aside from its beautiful artwork, is how it both normalizes the supernatural and fantastical cast and setting while also mining them both for humor. We get an unusually realistic look at what a place run by witches, vampires, zombies, demons, and other assorted ghouls would be like. We also get some interesting and surprising scenes, like the one below where the witch Gretchen, who is older and savvier than she appears, handles an armed robber.
This book is the first of a series that won the Angoulême Fauve Award for best youth comic in France, and all the reviews of it I have read have been laudatory. Mark Squirek praised de Pins' work, calling it "his best story yet." Publishers Weekly wrote, "De Pins does a wonderful job of creating a brand of humor that matches perfectly the cartoony world of monsters he presents." The School Library Journal's Mike Pawuk called it "just outstanding and a treat." That last review in particular raises a point about who the audience for this book is. It does seem to be for children, though their are some adult situations and strong language. I'd say this is a parents' discretion book that requires review before sharing.
his best story yet
Angoleme Comic Convention Award for Best Youth Comic in France - See more at: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/zombillenium-gretchen#sthash.kVyRvKFR.dpuf
Zombillenium is published by NBM in America, and you can find video preview and much more at the series' official site.