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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Electric Girl #3/160 pgs. & $13.95 from AiT/PlanetLar


Despite its claim to be a graphic novel, this collection reprints issues 9 and 10 of a delightful new comics title for pre-literate and beginning readers. Well-written and drawn, young girls in particular will enjoy the entertaining adventures of Virginia, a teenage girl with electric powers.

Virginia is not characterized as a superhero. Virginia must contend with the mundane problems of life including the antics of her dog Blammo as well as the fantasy of a gremlin named Oogleeoog. Some children may ask 'what is a gremlin' and 'why does Virginia have one', questions that one hopes will be answered in future compilations.

Art and story by Michael Brennan. Sold at comics shops and www.ait-planetlar.com.

Electric Girl is recommended.

Michael Vance

Mouse Guard: Belly of the Beast (#1 of 6)/22 pgs. & $3.50 from Archaia Studios Press


Although it looks and reads like a children's book, Mouse Guard is not for children. Its prose introduction states …"mice struggle to live safely and prosper among all of the world's harsh conditions and predators. Thus the mouse guard was formed". These mice do so with violence, blood, and death in a mix of reality and fantasy that is neither traditional children's nor adult literature.

'Tis the content that blurs the literary distinctions as three sighted mice search for a missing merchant mouse. Beautiful, reality-based art ends at the tip of the swords carried by the mice, at the clothing worn, and at the tips of tongues that speak. But a number of scenes of graphic violence are too disturbing for young minds that know nothing of death. It's confusing.

So who is the intended audience of this wonderful new jewel? Mouse Guard is recommended for mature readers who enjoy art and story generally associated with children's books. Sold at comics shops & www.aspcomics.com.

Michael Vance