Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Costa, Ben and Parks, James. Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli
June 6th 2017 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers 

Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

In this lengthy graphic novel, we meet Rickety Stitch, who is an undying, animated skeleton who is unclear about his own origins. His constant companion is The Gelatinous Goo, and he is the only one who can communicate with it. Rickety keeps having a dream about a city named Epoli, but can't remember all the lyrics to the song he sings about it when he is awake. Fired from his job cleaning dungeons, he sets out on a quest to find himself. He comes across an imp called Ziggly in the Grimly woods, and starts to travel with him. When the three approach the caslte of Golo the Gargantuan, it becomes clear that Ziggly is delivering his new friends as dinner! Rickety makes a deal to retrieve the Faerie Man for Golo to eat instead, but the Goo must be left behind. Ziggly then takes Rickety to meet with Nerman, a gnome, and they trick him into helping them. in their travels, they come across Xor the unicorn and find additional information about Epoli, as well as a way to get the Goo back from Golo.

Readers who enjoy longer graphic novels such as Stevenson's Nimona, Hick's The Nameless City or Siegel's The Sand Warrior will enjoy this quirky and goofy medieval quest. Rickety's lack of knowledge about his past makes for an intriguing mystery, and the traditional medieval characters all have a unique twist to them.

The art is slightly different from many graphic novels, and this is a larger format book (7.2 x 0.5 x 9.8 inches), which sets it apart from other titles. I liked the fact that Rickety's dreams were in black and white, while the rest of the story had full color.

This certainly had some odd moments (the Gelatinous Goo?), but there are a few pages in the back of the book that give more explanation of some the places and people involved in Rickety's world. There's almost more information in these few pages than in the rest of the entire book, since the rough sketches of the characters are accompanied by tiny text.

This is billed as book one, so we'll see if book two brings more information about Rickety and the Goo's origins. To hear the ballad that appears in Rickety's dream, go to

The authors have gotten a lot of praise for this one, but it's very much like The Glorikian Warrior Eats Adventure Pie to me. All I can think the entire time I'm reading it is "What were these guys smoking when they came up with this idea?"

Westerfeld, Scott. Spill Zone
May 2nd 2017 by First Second
Public library copy

Good dystopian graphic novel, but NOT for middle school. Frequent and random uses of the f word, and the "meat puppets" was disturbing. Mentioning this because Westerfeld has many great middle grade titles. This is just definitely Young Adult.

"Nobody's ever really explained the Spill. Was it an angelic visitation? A nanotech accident? A porthole opening from another world? Whatever it was, no one's allowed in the Spill Zone these days except government scientists and hazmat teams. But a few intrepid explorers know how to sneak through the patrols and steer clear of the dangers inside the Zone. Addison Merrick is one such explorer, dedicated to finding out what happened that night, and to unraveling the events that took her parents and left her little sister mute and disconnected from the world."

Ms. Yingling

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