- Posted by Johanna on January 14, 2006 at 12:22 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Jeff Nicholson
- PUBLISHER: AIT/PlanetLar; $12.95 US
Jeff Nicholson’s New World fantasy adventure series returns with a second volume.
Jack and his uncle are crewing for a mixed group of pirates. The ship’s been damaged, so they put aground on a tropical island for repairs. Navigating the swampy coast of Florida, with all kinds of unusual wildlife (faithfully captured by Nicholson), sets everyone on edge, causing dissention in the ranks.
Even when the characters are unpleasantly surprised or bedeviled by what they see, Nicholson gives the place a grand, natural beauty. I wouldn’t want to experience it myself, with alligators and stinging flies and hanging swamp moss, but I have a new appreciation for the ecology as a whole and the challenges early explorers and adventurers faced.
Their continued travels bring them to a village, where Jack meets a girl who seems to know a lot more about how Jack and his uncles got to this world in the first place. She’s outgoing, leading them into a new adventure, and her knowledge gives them yet another perspective on alternate versions of America. Another hint sends them into the hills to follow the legend of Rip Van Winkle.
Nicholson’s vision here captured on paper is refreshingly creative. Anything can happen, and new, unexpected adventures appear around every turn. It’s unpredictable and thus widely entertaining. Given the cliffhanger that ends the volume, it’ll be hard to wait a few years until the next book, but it’s still a highly recommended all-ages read.
After the comic story, Nicholson includes character sketches and several fascinating book reviews, covering reference material he’s used, including books on history, language, and pirate life.