- Posted by Johanna on August 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Colleen AF Venable; art by Stephanie Yue
- PUBLISHER: Graphic Universe; $6.95 US
I absolutely adore the Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye graphic novel series. They’re funny, sharp, entertaining books, so each new volume is a must-buy.
Unfortunately, this sixth book, Going, Going, Dragon!, is the last. All good things come to an end, they say, and this one’s a strong one to go out on.
As of events in the previous volume, Mr. Venezi is no longer selling the pets. Instead, he’s turned his store into one for pet products, food, and supplies. However, he’s still just as absent-minded as ever. When he loses the pen he’s put behind his ear, that cues the animals to chorus, “A mystery!”
Except for the goldfish, who are my favorites. I don’t simply want to repeat their jokes, but the way they confuse things and build on each other’s confusion is hilarious.
Sasspants, the guinea pig of the title, and her assistant Hamisher have retired from detecting, though. They’re exploring other things to do, including “ocean astronaut”. (More jokes with the goldfish!) Mr. Venezi has a crush on Charlotte, the owner of the bookstore next door. Since it’s the last book in the series, fans will be happy to know that a whole bunch of characters from previous installments make appearances, from Charlotte’s niece Bree to shop assistant Viola to Mr. Sparkles, the mouse who’s a pet of the chinchillas. Bree is fascinated with a book about dragons, thus leading to the title.
Charlotte is contemplating moving, since she has too many books, while Mr. V. is having trouble keeping up with the bills since he quit selling his animal friends. Can everyone — rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, snake, birds — team up to keep the shop open? And is it really a dragon who’s leaving treasure in the store?
For a “kids’ book”, this series is very well-plotted and densely exciting. There are new things happening on every page, with plenty of jokes and good humor. I’m always surprised by how neatly everything works together in surprising ways. There’s a tendency in comics to call kids’ books “all ages” in order to avoid scaring away readers, but this is truly a great read for everyone.