March 9, 2012

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Sybil the Backpack Fairy, One Piece X Toriko, and GlobWorld!

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No. 87 :  When Worlds Collide

After being gone last week, we return this week with our all-ages comic excitement! I apologize to our usual readers, last week’s absence was unexpected, crashed with a small cold and constantly being on the go. However, after some rest, we are back!! To regular readers, yes, I was pumped Rango won the Academy Award for best animated feature, a well deserved compliment to the best crafted animated film of last year. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out! Also if you’re like me, you enjoy some good cosplay; well VampyBit.Me is some of the best I’ve seen recently, and you can check her out here. Now, let’s get down to the reviews this week!


Sybil the Backpack Fairy Vol.1
Publisher: Papercutz
Writer: Michel Rodrigue
Art By: Antonello Dalena and Manuela Razzi

Volume 1 of Sybil the Backpack Fairy tells the story of Mina, a middle school girl with a tough life. Nothing is terrible, but things just seem a bit stressful between boring school and having to watch her little brother now that her Mom is a single parent and dating again. However, that is about to change as Nina is granted with Sybil, a fairy that lives in her backpack with her dog-goblin Pandigole, who with her magical powers can help Nina out. At first this seems like a great idea, until they accidentally summon up Ramses II and a bunch of other ancient Egyptians to our world who get loose, shortly followed by some troubles with other goblins/bad-fairies. Nina’s new friend Sybil may help, but it’s going to lead her on a lot of adventures throughout the way, it seems.

I dug this book and I’m sure children will, too. To start, the thing that stood out the most was the art by Dalena and Razzi. The comic flows perfectly, it practically screams story boards ready for animation, as everything jumps into the next panel with ease. The look and detail in the drawings is also a sight to see, with each page looking polished and crisp. Story wise it was good work by Rodrigue, and had a little bit of everything. Rodrigue establishes the relationships early on, and then right away gets us into this fantasy-meets-reality adventure, with hints of both Disney and European comic Papyrus (a great hidden gem not known too well here in the States).

Papercutz has put together a wonderful hardcover edition of the story, with nice glossy pages, which is what artwork like this deserves. Aside from the main story, they also include a handful of one-pagers, which flow more classic comic strip style and are pretty funny. Again, as I mentioned earlier on, perhaps the best thing to note is the story has all the elements children can dig and get into.

Sybil the Backpack Fairy Vol.1 is out now to pick up.


One Piece X Toriko: Taste of the Devil Fruit
Publisher: Viz Media (Shonen Jump Alpha)
Art and Story: Eiichiro Oda and Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

So last year Viz published in Shonen Jump here the Dragon Ball/One Piece cross over manga special (which we covered here), and it was pretty cool. Well, in the era of the new all digital Jump, Shonen Jump Alpha (which we covered here), Viz has published another fantastic manga crossover featuring the characters from two of the best comics in Shonen Jump right now with the one-shot One Piece X Toriko: Taste of the Devil Fruit.

So what happens in these 19 pages? Luffy is sleeping on Gourmet Island when he excitedly awakens to a shower of meat, while on another part of the island, Toriko and Komatsu find what they think is a piece of rare devil fruit! Luffy runs into them and they decide to go off and fight some rare monsters to gather and cook for a feast. The casts of both manga show up for the feast, and there is a killer-funny punch line at the end which would ruin the whole thing if I revealed it, so you’ll just have to find out yourself.

Since I love Toriko and still enjoy One Piece, this cross over worked well. Unlike the Dragon Ball/One Piece crossover that they set in a new world to have an excuse to combine both manga’s characters, One Piece X Toriko seems set in their current worlds and the characters are just themselves, making the manga way more enjoyable. Also they play of each other’s comedy and action strengths, and even include things like the food-menu and capture level powers from Toriko, but put One Piece twists on them to much success. Art wise the two worlds mesh together perfectly, and the writing is some of the funniest stuff since Dr. Slump.

One Piece X Toriko: Taste of the Devil Fruit is made as a bonus download when you get Shonen Jump Alpha, so the only way to read it is to go digital and get a subscription. However, if they keep churning out bonus material like this, it’s worth it.


GlobWorld #1-3
Publisher: Action Lab
Art: Andrew Charipar
Writer: Kevin Freeman
Back-Up Story Writer: Jeremy Whitley

GlobWorld is a mini-series based off the online gaming world of the same name, which children (well, anybody really) go on the interwebs and rock out. The mini-series, so far three issues with one more to go, and a special issue 0, has painted us the adventures of the Globs in GlobWorld. As the issues have gone on and weird things have been happening in GlobWorld, it’s become clear thanks to a trail left behind that someone certainly is behind all of this, and issue #3 gives us our big clue as to who. The back-up stories, featuring Monty Bananas as he investigates this bully around GlobWorld, also help us see more to the story of who is causing all this trouble.

GlobWorld is more like the Smurfs, where it’s a big world, there’s a lot of cute characters, and conflict-stuff pops up that someone is behind, but unlike where we know it’s Gargamel, we do not know who is behind this yet, hence a fun mystery subplot behind everything, connecting the issues in these mostly innocent comics. The team at Action Lab has handled this title well; the characters are a little weird, and the original online game doesn’t give the easiest base to adapt into a comic, but the translation from online to comic page is as good as it’s going to get with these books.

The writing by Freeman and in the back-up story by Whitley is good, and they’ve made a cool story out of these characters. They also try to include the topic of bullying which is a big issue these days, and more of a serious stance is being against. I think this is great that they included this and are part of the wave tackling this issue. This is what comics have the ability to do for kids, which is tackle issues like this, so I’m glad it’s in these pages. The art by Charipar works for the title; looking at it I wish there was something more in terms of details and scope, but you can only do so much with these Glob-characters. Aside from the simplicity, it flows fine and goes with the writing.

Issue 4 is on its way soon to wrap up the mystery at hand, so there’s no better time to pick up the first three issues and check it out now.


That’s it for this week, see you next! Until then, get your kaiju-game on!

Drew McCabe



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