Salt Water Taffy vol. 4
The Seaside Adventures of Jack & Benny: Caldera’s Revenge pt 1
Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Matthew Loux
Artist: Matthew Loux
All Ages Read – B & W
On the shores of Chowder Bay, something is in the waters, something sinister. A ghostly ship, preceded by the splashing of an enormous beast, has the town in a panicked state, and it’s up to Jack and Benny to solve the mystery! The two youths, along with Angus (the old salty seaman), are going on an adventure that features a Giant Squid, a ghost ship, and talking animals galore. The boys are in for more than they bargained for, though, when they come face to face with the only thing that can frighten a Giant Squid! The story begins with four of the town’s elderly seafarers swapping tall tales in the local tavern, to which the bartender replies, “I think you’re all insane.” The boys (Jack and Benny) are reading a book about the history of the area, but find it difficult to digest because of all the big words. Thankfully, they get interrupted by their dad’s neighborhood barbecue. There are a few uninvited guests, though, and a fight breaks out that include a senior citizen swinging her purse around like a billy club.
This is another all-ages read that I’ve been privileged to check out, and this one might be the best yet. I thoroughly enjoyed this story because it made me feel like a kid again. I can’t find one thing to point out that I didn’t really love, or even that someone else might not like. From the talking animals, to the artwork that personifies childhood perception, this book is more than solid. In fact, I’d say it’s flawless. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a book to either buy for a youth or to read to a child. It’s the perfect bedtime story for any child with an imagination or without. Matthew Loux’s depiction of the squid is probably my favorite part of the artwork. He draws this animal with relative simplicity, but it looks exactly like a young reader would probably picture it in their head. Everything matches superbly in this book; the characters, animals, settings, and even the forest and mountains. Not once did I think that the scenes were out of place or that the story lacked any kind of depth.
I for one can’t wait to see what part two in this wonderful story brings to the table. Part one does leave the reader with a cliffhanger, so I’m sure people will definitely want to keep going with this to see what happens to Jack and Benny. All the credit in the world to Matthew Loux and Oni Press for putting such a marvelous book out there. For more on this title, click here!