- Posted by Johanna on July 26, 2006 at 8:50 am
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Debbie Huey
- PUBLISHER: AdHouse Books; $8.95 US
Bumperboy, that cute little marshmallow man, returns! Previously, he lost his marbles; in this new book, he makes friends with the vocal landmass of the title.
While chasing a squirrel after a picnic, Bumperpup stumbles across a borp hole, a magical portal to different dimensions. There, they meet a lonely talking mountain whose loud voice has driven everyone away, as well as a new race of grums.
The comfortable pacing is a large part of this book’s charm. Nothing’s hurried, yet there’s a sense of wonder and “what happens next?” throughout. Bumperboy and his pup take time to enjoy their picnic sandwiches (turkey/cranberry and gravy bits, respectively), and then Bumperpup acts like a real doggie, distracted by a runaway rodent.
The mountain reminded me of people I’ve known, those who want to be social but don’t understand why they drive people away. Even when good-hearted, they get so carried away that they forget to take the reactions of others into account. Thankfully, the Bumperpals work hard to make everyone happier, making the world a better place for their presence.
The grums are adorable creatures, even softer and squishier looking than Bumperboy, and they speak Bumperpup’s language of Pictonese. If you’ve read Owly, then you’ve already seen something similar — it consists of pictographic word balloons. It’s a creative way to express ideas simply and directly that only comics can do.
The ecological interactions reminded me of Beanworld in the way that an interdependent group of fanciful creatures form a self-fulfilling ecosystem. When talking about this book, I just want to make lists of “wasn’t it cute when they went to the library and Bumperboy turned Bumperpup’s pages for him?” and “I loved the way Bumperpup’s flying chair was like a sidecar” and “grums are adorable, even when attacking!” Those images are what makes the title special; they’ll stick with me as happy memories of the enjoyment I had reading this.
Debbie Huey discusses her creative process in this Comic Foundry piece.