*Salt Water Taffy — Recommended

Matthew Loux has created a modern classic of children’s adventure with Salt Water Taffy, “The Seaside Adventures of Jack and Benny”.

Salt Water Taffy cover
Salt Water Taffy
Buy this book

Jack and Benny are brothers, and their parents have taken them to a small town in Maine for the summer. The videogame batteries are dead, there’s no television, but Chowder Bay has other things to draw attention, like “The Legend of Old Salty”, a giant lobster.

Loux draws with a thick line that gives everyone incredibly sharp chins and knees, but it also provides a solid presence and a great sense of energy, perfect for exploration of the unknown. (And with his edges, it’s also ideal for drawing lobsters and their claws.) He does a terrific job of capturing the feel of a summer family trip, from the sibling squabbling in the car to the aimless days open to whatever happens. His backgrounds give an authentic sense of place, the feel of a small vacation town.

There are action-packed incidents, but they develop in a relaxed framework, as though someone were saying “oh, and let me tell you about when this happened.” The boys visit the local taffy store, have a family campfire, and check out the summer house where the first hints of something mysterious make themselves known. The kids act like kids, smacking each other but working together when needed. The tone is relaxed, but plenty happens, thanks to Angus the old fisherman.

It’s the details that stick with me. Benny builds a clever trap while Angus and Jack are telling tall tales. The lobster boat is adorable and funny. The taffy flavors. The secret agent from out of town. This is the kind of summer vacation you wish you had, and it’s an excellent read to fire young imaginations.

In flavor, it reminds me of Colonia. This will be a series; the second book is due in September. Read a preview of this first book at the publisher’s website. Matthew Loux has been interviewed online. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)

11 Responses to “*Salt Water Taffy — Recommended”

  1. Dave Says:

    I just read the preview and I like it.

    The story has humor and mystery with a nice flow. The characters (for the most part) are clearly defined.

    The art has a fun/animated feel for the people and animals and great detail for everything else.

    The first book in this quarterly series is digest-sized and 96 pages long.

    I’ve added Salt Water Taffy to my “buy” list.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I’m glad, I hope you enjoy it.

  3. odessa steps magazine Says:

    I read it a few weeks ago and liked it too.

    The art reminded me of what the Smith brothers used to do with Odd Adventure Zine.

  4. Salt Water Taffy 2: A Climb up Mt. Barnabas » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] second book in the Salt Water Taffy series is just as good as the first. It’s terrific to see Matthew Loux continuing to capture […]

  5. Salt Water Taffy Launches Webcomic » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] you enjoyed The Seaside Adventures of Jack and Benny and A Climb Up Mt. Barnabas, be sure to visit Salt Water Taffy: the webcomic […]

  6. There Are Too Plenty of Comics for Kids! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Salt Water Taffy […]

  7. Great Graphic Novels for Kids » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] third entry in the boys’ adventure series has all the excitement of the first two books, but this time the supernatural influence is more […]

  8. Free Comic Book Day 2010 in Review » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Western The Sixth Gun. The three stories in the first include new tales of Matthew Loux’s Salt Water Taffy; Ray Fawkes’ Possessions (a new fave of mine); and Chris Schweizer’s Crogan Adventures. […]

  9. January 2011 Previews: Indie Month, Recommendations, and Snark » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Loux’s Salt Water Taffy series is promising its fourth volume, and the first to start a continuing story. Jack and Benny go […]

  10. Salt Water Taffy 4: Caldera’s Revenge » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] three volumes of relatively stand-alone adventures — The Legend of Old Salty, A Climb up Mt. Barnabas, and The Truth About Dr. True — Salt Water Taffy tries something […]

  11. Sketch Monsters Book 1: Escape of the Scribbles » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] this is a welcome addition to Oni’s growing kids’ line (which includes such works as Salt Water Taffy and Possessions). Sketch Monsters: Escape of the Scribbles is due out at the end of October. The […]




Most Recent Posts: