Writer: Mike Bullock
Artists: Jack Lawrence
Publisher: Image Comics
Plot: Ten year old Joey must save The Stuffed Animal Kingdom from the horrible Beasties.
Comments: I was so happy to see a volume 2 of Lion, Tigers and Bears, because the four issues of volume 1 were just a great read. The series made this man in his 30s feel like a ten year old again. That is a great accomplishment.
You can read volume 2 without having to read the first one, but if you want to fully enjoy the story, look for the trade paperback of volume 1. You wonít be disappointed. On the contrary, you will get a story that is as lively and full of imagination as The Neverending Story.
Nowadays there arenít many comic books for young readers, so itís hard to get them interested in comics. However, the parents, grandparents, uncles, et al of kids around primary school age should know that this is the one comic book that they can buy as a present without being concerned about "mature material."
When kids already are able to read, Lion, Tigers and Bears is the absolute best comic book for them. Jack Lawrence is a great artist; his pencils and inks are sharp and show lots of detail. For once, the image on the cover is exactly what you get in all the interior sequential art. And in many, many books this is not the case. It will present a flashy cover and the art inside is totally different and dull. But Jack Lawrence even does a better job with his sequentials than his cover, and this to me is very refreshing. Overall, the art and colours, which Lawrence all did himself, provides a nice animation style. A lot of panels could be animation cells; thatís how good they are. The scenes are very vivid with a lot of angle variation on the character. This keeps the story up and running and makes you look at the art over and over. Flip through the book and look at the facial expressions of Joey, the main character. See how much fun he has riding his sled in the first pages. You can feel the joy, and wished that you had a sled or snow for that matter.
Joeyís closet is the gateway to the Stuffed Animal Kingdom. All stuffed animals are there to protect children form getting hurt, especially by the mean Beasties living in the Shadowlands. Joey has four big stuffed cats (The Night Pride) to protect him.
Volume two introduces Courtney, Joeyís friend, and I donít dare to say girlfriend because he finds that icky. The mighty ruler of the Stuffed Animal Kingdom, a great bear, has fallen, and itís up to Joey, Courtney and the mighty Night Pride to save the day.
I wish my mom could have read this to me as a bedtime story, that would have been amazing. Oh what the hell, I will call her up, and ask her to come over to read to me. I better finish this review, because I have to find my stuffed animals somewhere in the attic.
You can find Martijn Form's website here
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