Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Benny Breakiron in the Red Taxis by Peyo

Papercutz has brought another classic comic strip from Peyo (creator of Smurfs) to the US. Personally, I really enjoyed this story. I like the slapstick humor and old-fashioned design of French comics. However, I can't really see buying this for kids at my library.

Benny Breakiron, a sort of French Dennis the Menace with superpowers, is having an average day and visiting his friend, Monsieur Dussiflard, the taxi driver. Then he discovers that a new fleet of red taxis, owned by Mister Hairynose, is putting Dussiflard out of business. Benny is suspicious and rightly so; it's not long before he and Dussiflard have been kidnapped, Mister Hairynose has gotten the police on his side, and Benny finds himself shipwrecked! Fortunately, his super strength (which disappeared earlier b/c he had a cold) comes to the rescue and he foils the plots of Mister Hairynose and the town is back to normal again.

One of my main objections is how small the font size is. This didn't matter in the Smurfs, when kids would recognize the characters and pick up the comics, but with an unknown character like Benny, most kids flipping through the book will be put off by the tiny print and small size of the panels. Otherwise this is funny but it has a very classic look and feel to it that just won't work in my small-town library.

Verdict: If your library has kids who are really into the classic French/Belgian comics - Tintin, Asterix, Smurfs, etc. they're probably going to be all over this. As I said, I personally really like these. However, they just won't be popular at my library where the kids are almost exclusively interested in more American offerings like Babymouse, Lego Ninjago, Lunch Lady, and classic superheroes. Papercutz' hardcovers are very affordable, so it won't break the budget too much to try out a volume if you're not sure how well they'd circulate.

ISBN: 9781597074094; Published May 2013 by Papercutz; Review copy provided by the publisher; Added to my "considering" order list for the future

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