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Clockwork Girl #0

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2007
By: Martijn Form



Writers: Kevin Hanna and Sean O’Reilly
Artist: Grant Bond

Publisher: Arcana Comics


So here's a new comic for kids titled Clockwork Girl, but mind you, this is a number zero issue which can be seen as a prologue. With a price tag of $0.25, this comic book should be picked up by everybody, of course.

Who am I to review a comic targeted for kids when I am well older than the target audience? Although I tend to still play with toy cars when my nephew is around (and I love it!).

I am not a Harry Potter fan like the rest of the world, but I think it’s great that adults can read those stories too without being laughed at. So for me this is an all age fantasy in the tradition of Lion, Tigers and Bears and the Abadazad comics, which should be dominating the top 100 comic list more.

To help me out with this review I got my nephew to take a look at this book. He is seven years old and Dutch so he doesn’t understand a word of English except "I want candy!" What I did was first let him look at the sequentials without translating any English just to see if the art is working on a kids' level. Well, he was all over it. He loved the "Funny man" and the "Scary kid" in the story. He most revered the Tinkerer, who is this well developed stereotypical looking professor. The scary kid is called Huxley, part little devil, part vampire but still adorable. After translating the story, my nephew just keep asking for more, so the comicbook got his interest... and mine for that matter.

The art by Grant Bond is wonderful, like watching top level Disney animation cells. The panel layouts are simplistic which should help maintain the interest of a younger audience. There is enough detail to keep those little eyes busy quite some time. The mood of the rich color palette is again like watching Disney’s Atlantis or The Hunchback of the Notre Dame, and mind you, on those projects there were hundreds of artists to render such a beautiful pictures. Here Bond is doing it all by himself which is a marvelous achievement.

The story itself is just a teaser so it wouldn't be fair for me to provide an in depth analysis, but it brings us strange characters and a wonderful new world for us to explore. I do have some complaints about the language. If this is meant for children to read for themselves or being read to, there are far too many difficult words that should have been avoided. Words like "uncontainable," "accomplishments," "contraption," and "novelty" are too unfamiliar to children. It would be a good thing if the writers would have looked at some picture books to get the language right for that age. All in all, the captions of the first pages are to my mind a leap that children may find too difficult.

But keep in mind this is just a teaser; this can easily be Disney’s next animation project.

For more information about this reviewer, go to www.martijnform.com



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