Daily Archives: April 7, 2008

Flight Explorer Volume I

Quick quiz.

Do you like:

a) soft-hearted purple monsters who can throw a mean snowball

b) fat kitty meterologists in red rain slickers

c) ancient Egyptian felines with attitude

d) grumpy, power-hungry robots seeking world domination

e) all of the above

If you chose E, then hurry out to grab yourself a copy of Flight Explorer Volume I, a groovy collection of graphic tales by some of the coolest artists out there. The anthology is edited by Kazu Kibuishi (getting press of late with the release of Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper), with contributions from Kean Soo (creator of Jellaby), Matthew Armstrong, Jake Parker, Ben Hatke and others.

I love the fact that this small book has the potential to introduce kids to further work by these 10 awesomely talented graphic artists. The strength of the collection is the artwork (no surprise). It’s a treat to see different styles juxtaposed in this way. I loved the monochromatic palette of Phil Craven’s “Big Mouth,” and Matthew Armstrong’s hapless monster-buddy in “Snow Cap” looks so fluffy I swear I could reach into the drawing and pat him. There’s some space-fighter action in Jake Parker’s “Missile Mouse,” some chuckles in Johane Matte’s “Egyptian Cat: Perfect Cat” and gentle life lessons in Kibuishi and Hatke’s offerings. Some of the tales will work better for the kids than others, and a few could bear to be longer, but all in all, I found this book to be the whole package: solid writing and visually-gorgeous.

(F.Y.I. – Flight Explorer is meant to act as the kids’ version of Kibuishi’s adult Flight Series, which I haven’t read but now feel desperate to check out).