- Posted by Johanna on February 6, 2006 at 11:15 am
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Debbie Huey
- PUBLISHER: AdHouse Books; $7.95 US
Bumperboy Loses His Marbles is a charming all-ages story with a distinctive visual look.
Bumperboy is a lumpy little guy who looks as though he’s always wearing a snowsuit (or spacesuit) that leaves only his dot eyes and wide mouth showing. His dog, Bumperpup, is similarly clad, with a cute muzzle that resembles a teddy bear. Even so, they both have tons of personality and quickly win the reader’s heart.
Bumperboy is due to play in a marbles tournament, following the family tradition by using his grandmother’s shooter. His rival, an evil-looking bird, trips him and causes him to lose his marbles, and he and his dog set out to recover them. The trip takes them to places where they are helped by several unusual friends, including a seal, a bug-looking alien, and an old man.
The figures are thickly outlined, keeping the reader’s eye on them and making it easy to follow their actions. Objects are reduced to their basic shapes, but the artist doesn’t skimp on background, firmly setting events in a recognizable world. Events proceed in a simple, clear fashion through several levels of tournament competition.
Although simple enough for a youngster, adults will get a kick out of the details, like the antenna on Bumperboy’s portable phone or the dog looking in a toilet while searching. I thought the visual pun of Bumperboy losing his marbles and having his eyes turn into spirals, traditional shorthand for craziness, was especially cute. Overall, the story, about the fun of fair competition, friendship, and trying your best, is good-hearted, and the characters and plot twists are imaginative.
Bumperboy has his own website.