Featured Columns

May 4, 2012

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Mr. Men and Little Miss and Dance Class!

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays No.95: The Friendlier Side Of Things

Welcome back to From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, our all-age comic column around these parts! I’ll save the intros this week and just get down to the reviews for ya’ll!

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Mr. Men and Little Miss: Lights, Camera, Bump!
Publisher: Viz Media (Viz Kids line)
Writing: John Hardman
Art: Matthew Britton

Based off the long lasting and incredibly popular children’s book series, Viz Kids brings us all new comics based off the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters that populate Dillydale.

In Lights, Camera, Bump!, we follow one of the most adored Mr. Men, Mr. Bump, on a most unexpected adventure. One day while he is watching TV, he is suddenly pulled right into the TV-world. From cooking shows to gardening to “Dancing with Little Misses,” Mr. Bump is pulled through the gamut as the channels are flipped. From Mr. Messy to Little Miss Sunshine, the pages are packed with all the characters of the universe, to much delight.

The art by Matthew Britton is excellent. The look stylistically is closer to the TV incarnations of Mr. Men and Little Miss rather than the books, but the characters still look exactly like they should. Writing wise, Hardman does a smart parody of numerous reality TV shows, putting these timeless characters into them. He gives us lots of laughs and a nice little final button to end on.

So who will like this? Fans of both the TV show and the books, of course. I know some hardcore fans of the books don’t love the latest TV show, and if you don’t there is a chance you probably won’t like this either, being it’s closer to that version story and look wise. However, for those who love these characters no matter what shape or form, you’ll enjoy them here, as well. For those of you who have never experienced the world of Mr. Men and Little Miss, I’d say go for it.

Mr. Men and Little Miss: Lights, Camera, Bump! is out now.

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Dance Class Vol.1: So, You Think You Can Hip-Hop?
Publisher: Papercutz
Writer: Beka
Artist: Crip
Color: Benoit Bekaert

Once again, Papercutz has brought us over another all-ages gem from Europe with Dance Class. Dance Class is mostly one or two page stories filled with humor that focus around Julie and her friends Lucie, Alia, and Bruno as they take dance classes. The stories in this collection have a connecting arc that builds up at Julie’s dance school and leads to a performance of Sleeping Beauty on stage.

I enjoyed this title. One of the best things in here is the use of dance. Believe it or not reader, before your friendly neighborhood columnist here started writing this column and directing stage productions, for years I took dance classes (and still have to deal with dance while directing musicals). So when I see the proper terms and detailed drawings of different ballet positions being done and being done correctly, I give a tip of the hat to that comic.

From the art to the writing, the team of Beka and Crip sure know their stuff on this one. It really feels like a bunch of teens in dance class, and the art and writing captures it perfectly. The use of humor is well timed, and these one-in-done pages are well paced and timed. One thing to note is that frequently Carla, Julie’s rival of sorts, will make a nasty comment about someone’s weight or what not. While it may shock some folks, it is actually absolutely true (I heard it on a daily basis), plus the egg always lands on Carla’s face, so to speak, after her little bratty comments, giving us the humor pay off on some pages.

So who will love Dance Class? There’s two audiences for this. The first is obvious, which is girls. It is a very female book. I’m sure a percentage of boys could get into it too, but for the most part, being it is based on the feelings and experiences of being in a dance school here in the States, it’s a predominantly female thing. The other is fans of humor strips, who I think will dig this, too. The single page structure with built in laughs at the end of every page lends itself to those who love newspaper strips and like.

Dance Class Vol.1 is out now, check it out!

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

Drew McCabe
drew@comicattack.net

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