Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 53 (3/28) -- Copper by Kazu Kibuishi

Copper is not all one thing -- it's a series of strips, mostly single-pagers, over the course of which Kibuishi wrote and drew his way into this milieu and the two characters that live in it -- but it's a sweet and lovable collection, one of the few comics that can be compared to Calvin & Hobbes without being in any derivative of that strip.

Copper is that boy on the cover; he's a bit impetuous and always optimistic. His dog is Fred, and of course Fred is often Copper's opposite: fearful, worried, overwhelmed by his own thoughts. (Except for the ways in which he's just a dog, as when he chases his tail; Kibuishi isn't trying to make them iconic or archetypic here -- they're just characters, and they have different moods and reactions.) Their world starts out very mundane, with intrusions from Copper's imagination, but, before too long, Kibuishi has quietly untethered them from our world and placed them in a fantastical landscape, full of casually unexplained SF and fantasy details.

So Copper's world becomes the kind of world he deserves and loves: full of places where he can find adventure and excitement -- but not too much of either, never more than he can handle. Copper is appropriate for a somewhat younger audience than his graphic novel series Amulet; I can see older grade-schoolers enjoying these stories (though most teenagers would find them too childish; they can come back when they get old enough to appreciate childlike things again). Again, this is mostly made up of single-page stories -- mood pieces, really -- with a few longer stories from various Flight books, but they're all lovely and full of boyish enthusiasm and energy.

Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index
Listening to: Le Reno Amps - Once You Know
via FoxyTunes

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