Created & Written by Roger Langridge
Created, Illustrated & Lettered by Andy Hirsch
Coloured by Fred Stresing
Normally i’m not a big all-ages reader kind of guy but I have to say since I was asked to review this I think this could change my attitude towards all-ages books. This was simply a very fun, interesting and complex book that warms the heart and goes to show that regardless of gender, social status or upbringing finding your way in life with new friends is as much of an adventure as you want it to be.
I have to give credit where it’s due and Andy and Fred’s work on the interiors surprised the heck out of me. The backgrounds have a really strong attention to detail and the characters themselves each have their own distinct look that allows their personality to be pretty much instantly recognizable. While a lot more cutesy than I gravitate towards and it does remind me of the Sunday Paper strips I found myself really enjoying what I was seeing.
There’s a real distinct originality to this story that charmed the heck out of me. Three young folks from very different backgrounds find themselves at the same place at the same time with the same idea. It really is true that children learn prejudices from the grown-ups in their lives and here there’s more innocence and less set in mistrust. Yeah there are stereotypes and this is London in 1933 so certain folks do have a distinct advantage but what Roger brings to the story through his writing is while making those differences distinct he also erases them in the minds of them.
The way these three young people meet that is incredibly organic. Throughout their time together when it looks like they may part ways a chance meeting changes the course of their lives. So there is a moment in the story where we cut away from them to see a reporter interviewing a witness, a paper reporter btw. Here’s what I appreciate about that it’s great to see the catalyst for the kids meeting and this adventure but we don’t get enough information so we are left to ponder the mystery as well.
As if fitting with a book suited for readers of all ages there is some reveal this issue. For the younger ones it’s a nice look at explaining stuff while the older readers to get see something that strengthens the desire to come back and find out more. It’s a fine line to walk this all-ages and being able to keep it light, breezy and easy to follow while still making it just as distinctly complex and intriguing.
What a truly wonderful introduction to these characters we get here. I look forward to seeing learn to work together, solve a mystery and even change the way they are seen by adults. Their enthusiasm is infectious and their charm undeniable this is something special not to be missed.