Copper (Scholastic/Graphix)

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Flight creator Kazu Kibuishi brings his webcomic about an adventurous boy and his worrywart dog to the printed page.

 

96 pgs, color; $12.99
(W & A: Kazu Kibuishi)
Copper, first created by Kazu Kibuishi as a webcomic, is now available in print form from Scholastic. You might wonder why you’d want to pay for something you can read for free but Copper is such an original and beautifully realized work that it’s a pleasure to be able to hold it in your hands. The Scholastic edition also includes a 10-page bonus section in which Kibuishi discusses his working methods and why he feels that limitations can be a good thing in creative endeavors.
Copper is a series of short stories about an adventurous boy (Copper) and his worrywart dog (Fred). Most are told in a single page and involve some escapade or flight of fancy shared by the two friends, sometimes both in the same story (as in Little Nemo in Slumberland, sometimes Copper and Fred’s great adventure turns out to be only a dream). Some are just fun while some are more serious, some are set in the real world while others take place in a land where lobsters compete in road races and you can jump around on the heads of giant mushrooms (but beware if they get ticked off at you), and some drive home a moral while others leave their interpretation open. They’re quirky little all-ages stories which are suitable for children because nothing remains threatening for long but contain enough food for thought to interest adults as well. Because each story is self-contained, you can enjoy those you like and leave the rest.
Kibuishi’s art is what really sets Copper apart from the pack. He finds a number of ways to divide the page into frames and creates distinctive imaginary worlds which are logical within themselves. His coloring tends to light shades of solid colors but varies considerably from one page to another and the individual frames as well as the pages will reward your close and repeated attention because they are full of details which you might miss the first time through. True confession: at first glance I thought Kibuishi’s art was overly cutesy (judging the book by its cover, which in this case is a bit cloying), then as I got further into the stories started to appreciate that he could portray menace as well as comfort if the occasion demanded it. You can see the web versions of Copper at http://www.boltcity.com/copper/ and learn more about the author (who also created Amulet and Flight) at http://www.boltcity.com/. | Sarah Boslaugh
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