When I spotted that the children’s section at our library had recently updated the comic books section with some new titles, I got all excited. Especially when I found two titles that looked appropriate for early readers, the Johnny Boo books by James Kochalka. I wasn’t familiar with these, but they looked cute, so they came home with us.
The illustrations are simple but amusing. One character, the Ice Cream Monster, looks like he wandered in from an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. There’s even a quote on the back from DJ Lance Rock. Unfortunately, like that much loved Nickelodeon show that makes me feel utterly uncool for not liking it, I just didn’t get these books. The text and plots were too simple. There was a lot of dialogue where characters actually said things like, “This is fun,” repeatedly. It felt like something a kid would write instead of something written for kids. BalletBoy set it aside after the first one. He agreed that the Ice Cream Monster was funny, but I never saw him pick up the second book.
I’m dying for more early reader comics, but good ones. I know BalletBoy (and Mushroom for that matter) will be on to the world of Lunch Lady and Babymouse very soon, but until then, we’ve read all the TOON Books.