Coming next month, just in time for Halloween, is BIG FOOT BOY VOLUME 1: INTO THE WOODS. This latest all-ages graphic novel from J. Torres, author of POWER LUNCH and JINX, features the art of Faith Erin Hicks, most recently of FRIENDS WITH BOYS.
BIG FOOT BOY follows young Rufus as he is dropped off at his grandmother's for a week's vacation. Bored and wanting to do something as his grandmother falls asleep while watching her stories, Rufus follows a young girl into the woods behind his grandmother's home. When he gets lost, the young girl turns out to be a neighbor and helps him find his way home. The next day, he follows her again, and instead of getting lost, Rufus finds a mysterious totem.
What happens next transforms Rufus' boring visit with his grandmother into a wild adventure that he will not only never forget, but take with him for the rest of his life.
Torres' pedigree when it comes to creating all-ages material is well documented, having created stories for boys and girls of all ages. He seems to have no trouble writing stories both for and about kids, and each character has a unique voice - something that many writers of all-ages material struggle with. Having written comics for Avatar and Batman, Torres is also no stranger to writing adventure that is thrilling enough for a young reader, without being overwhelming for the younger readers, yet not underwhelming for older ones.
Hicks' art style is reminiscent of the Scott Pilgrim books, and her layout style is clean. The art perfectly compliments Torres' story, and the characters have a brightness and humor that is natural and unforced, also something difficult to convey for the intended audience. Hicks does a nice job of presenting animal characters without falling into a common trap of making them over-cute or over-anthropomorphised. This talent enhances the believability of the book, whereas sometimes when you have talking animals in a story they break the reading flow. This is not a problem for BIG FOOT BOY, and helps reinforce the story and adventure.
My child is the target audience for BIG FOOT BOY, but it is so well presented that parents will enjoy it as much, if not more. Like with POWER LUNCH, BIG FOOT BOY is labeled as "Volume 1," which is good to hear, because even though the story "ends," you really don't want it to end. That's a testament to Torres' storytelling skill: he writes tight, concise stories that leave you feeling satisfied, but absolutely wanting to read the next volume.
Here's hoping Torres and Hicks don't leave us waiting too long.
BIG FOOT BOY VOLUME 1: INTO THE WOODS is due in September from Kids Can Press by J. Torres (@jtorrescomics) and Faith Erin Hicks (@faitherinhicks). It is $9.95 for a 100-page book. Email or call us at GAME ON! to order your copy today!
- J. R.