Albatross Funnybooks 2018
Written by Gabe Soria
Illustrated by Gideon Kendall
Can life get any weirder for junior occultist Martin Magus? Living in the haunted city of Dunwich Heights is strange enough for a kid investigating the unknown, but when he comes into possession of a bewitched ring, he discovers that he now has the power to summon Megaghost, a giant supernatural robot sworn to defend the world against the creepy things that go smash in the night!
Okay so I totally loved this! It felt every bit the Saturday Morning cartoon in the vein of Scooby-Doo and the likes (Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy or my fave the Funky Phantom) and that alone thrilled me. Add into the mix the bad kids and suddenly that merges with a whole new set teenage problems and honestly I found myself even more intrigued. I will say though that I found this to be pretty much all-ages in nature and I would encourage that you pick this up and share with your kids or nieces and nephews or whatnot and let them explore and discover.
The way this is structured is sensational! The opening where we get to meet The Real Kool Kultists Magic Club members and their mysterious benefactor is done to perfection. I like that we immediately know they aren’t the good guys in this story and that they are cock, arrogant and smarmy without apology it makes them something we want to see more of. They are the idiots who get in over their heads but we can’t help enjoy seeing them whenever they appear.
When we meet the main character Martin he’s having a proper row with Fausto, by that I mean with words. It is a fantastic conversation and I adore the fact that this Fausto is one of those who likes to bully others and when he’s called out suddenly he’s a coward so yeah I am enjoying it and should we keep seeing him I do hope that Martin keeps drawing him into the adventures whether he likes it or not. The characterisation here is brilliantly done and we get to know these kids awfully fast and that help draw us and want to see more of them. This encounter is also a great way to get the real story started and it has a very normal natural flow to it that showcases why I like how this is structured.
The artwork is phenomenal to see. It has that creepy feel to it while still maintaining this all-ages feel to it. The linework is sensational and the attention to detail is marvellous to see. Faces and facial expressions help flesh out their personalities and then there is this whole style of dress or hairdo’s that really set the characters apart. Also seeing the inside of the house where Martin is exploring after the door slammed shut on it’s own is a true stand-out moment in the book. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a very strong eye for storytelling. The colours here too are a treat to see. The choice in who wears what and how they show diversity is beautifully done, personally I want Fausto’s outfit for myself now.
This is utterly delightful and it is so beautifully written and illustrated. The pacing, story & plot development along with the characterisation is engaging. The introduction of characters and who and what this Megaghost is well that’s a reveal you’ll have to see to believe! Suffice it to say that Albatross Funnybooks is now among one of the company’s you NEED to be reading. The imagination and creativity on display here both through words and visuals will thrill kids and make adults feel like a kid again!