Monday, July 25, 2016

Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon

Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon was an unexpected delight I picked up at HeroesCon this year. It is an adventure book written by Matt Kindt, one of my favorite contemporary comics creators, with art by Brian Hurtt, who draws The Sixth Gun, a series I should check out because I hear great things about it.

Any way, when I saw they had a book aimed at upper elementary/middle school readers, I was excited to check it out. This book has a fantastic set-up. It is about Poppy Pepperington, a young adventurer who is accompanied by Colt Winchester, a gruff old sort who promised Pappy, Poppy's adventurer grandfather, that he would watch after her when he mysteriously disappeared (or died?). This duo meets up with Ramses, a thousands of years old pharaoh who looks like an 8-year old boy and is relegated to a penthouse apartment, who gives them new missions and adventures to undertake.

I will not spoil what they do or find on their adventure, but it involves exotic cities, a giant octopus, strange sea creatures, death traps, and fantastic happenings just this side of the supernatural. As you can see from the art and story, there are lots of minute details and intricacies in both the characters and the settings, and they all contribute to a wonderfully vibrant tapestry. The main narrative is nuanced and intriguing, with lots of surprises, twists, and silliness. I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I hope it is just the start to a series, because there is much potential here.

This book's creators are veteran comics people. Matt Kindt has created numerous graphic novels, including Super Spy, Red Handed, and Revolver, worked on his own series Mind MGMT and Dept H, as well as having written a good number of titles at Marvel, Valiant, and DC Comics. Brian Hurtt is known for his art in genre-bending books like The Sixth Gun and The Damned. Both Kindt and Hurtt have been nominated for major comics awards multiple times.

Many of the reviews praise this book as being an American version of Tintin, and I think that is high praise. Matthew Garcia summed it up as "a very enjoyable and lively book." Josh Canales wrote, "This family-friendly book is great for anyone who loves reading." Gwen and Andy at Comics Alternative "could not stop singing [its] praises."

Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon was published by Dark Horse, and they have a preview and more available here.

I met both Kindt and Hurtt at HeroesCon this year, and they were nice enough to sign my copy of the book. I think it would be fun and interesting for readers young and old, truly an all ages book.

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