A Graphic Novel by Théa Rojzman Steve Baker
The first thing I thought when I started reading Billie Bang Bang! by Théa Rojzman Steve Baker was that this was somewhat in a similar style as the classic American comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which is a big compliment in my book. The presentation follows one storyline where Billie has found a strange creature named Bonkers while camping with her family, but this is further broken down into small vignettes of a few pages each, thus why I think it has a similar feeling to a serialized comic strip. I’m sure that some people will find Billie insufferable due to her staunch rejection of just about any authority figure, but most of the humor relies on her going against the grain and everyone having to deal with her attitude.
“Annoying people beware: there’s a new sheriff in town, and her name is Billie Bang Bang! Life isn’t always easy when you’re 8 years old. But Billie has a new best friend, named Bonkers. (Who isn’t even imaginary, by the way!) And a partner in crime means double the trouble… Watch out, world! Billie Bang Bang is a series about our precocious, smart, immature, hilarious, and sometimes tyrannical children. Children who are constantly defying adults’ authority, even though all they really want is love and protection, in a world that isn’t always as safe as we want it to be. Together, Billie and Bonkers take whatever life throws their way, and find a way to come out the other side… with as little collateral damage as possible.”
While I was not the target audience for Billie Bang Bang!, I feel that pretty much anyone should be able to appreciate some of the humor she gets into as most of it plays into an exaggerated version of the whole parents vs. kids meme that has been going for centuries. The artwork is fun and vibrant, and the characters are funny. Overall, this was a great read and a perfect book for an older kid or perhaps a teenager. I’ve talked many times about how Europe Comics comes up with easily some of the better “kid’s comics” out there now simply by virtue of them having a bit of an edge to them over what gets published to kids domestically here in the US. If you are looking for a fun stocking stuffer for those fast approaching holidays, look no further!
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NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.