Monday, December 7, 2009

Lunch Lady, Volumes 1 & 2

Students may not be fascinated by what their teachers do outside of school, but some of us lead exciting lives. Maybe no one more so than Lunch Lady, the star of Jarrett Krosoczka's graphic novels for younger readers. This lunch lady has a lot of neat gadgets. She has a spatula that spins like a helicopter and lifts her in the air. She has a night vision taco. She has a secret hideout behind the refrigerator in her kitchen. And she keeps all of this secret except to her accomplice, fellow lunch lady Betty. That is, until a few nosy students notice that the Lunch Lady is doing interesting things, and they do get involved more than they should.

Hector, Dee, and Terrance are the students who get involved in Lunch Lady's adventures. They are likable characters who act like kids. They chat, hang out, bicker, and try to deal with Milmoe, the resident bully. However, in this normal school with normal students, some pretty interesting things occur.

In the first volume, the children's favorite teacher, Mr. O'Connell, is replaced by a substitute who overwhelms them with work and worksheets. The substitute acts strangely and also refuses to eat the yummy things Lunch Lady offers him. All of this turns out to be part of a plot by Mr. Edison, the science teacher, to finally win the school's Teacher of the Year award.

In the second volume, the Lunch Lady deals with the local librarians. They have hatched a scheme to achieve world domination, and the first step is destroying all video games. The librarians have turned a few books into special weapons, unleashing fantastic creatures from stories to attack people. Lunch Lady and the kids fight back with a variety of gizmos, including juice boxes that make sonic booms. In the end, Lunch Lady foils their nefarious plans and saves the school book fair.

Jarrett Krosoczka is a veteran children's book author. He brings a fun, cartoony style to the books. The pictures are mostly in black and white, although there is also yellow thrown in. That color really makes Lunch Lady's rubber gloves pop. The books have received pretty positive reviews so far, as shown here in three separate ones from Bookie Woogie, 100 Scope Notes, and Comics Worth Reading.

Random House is about to publish its third entry in the series, and Universal has picked up the books to become a film starring Amy Poehler.

Here is a trailer for the series posted on YouTube. The comics official site is here.

For more information about Krosoczka, please visit Studio JJK, his official website. Be sure to check out his Bios. They're pretty good!

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