Friday, 6 February 2015

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 6th February 2015 - "Pirates of Pangaea - Book 1" by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron (David Fickling Books)

Pirates of Pangaea Book 1

Written by Daniel Hartwell & Neill Cameron

Illustrated by Neill Cameron

Published by David Fickling Books

Most comic fans will be able to tell you the exact character, story, writer and artist that really got them into comics in a big way. For me it was Judge Dredd in 2000 AD, written by John Wagner and drawn by Ron Smith and Brian Bolland.

For Charlotte it was undoubtedly the first time she caught sight of Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron. Setting the pages of The Phoenix Comic alight with the most incredible adventures week after week. Charlotte is now a regular Phoenix reader but missed quite a few of the early PoP stories.

So imagine her excitement when Book 1 of the collected early stories popped through our letterbox, courtesy of the lovely folk at David Fickling Books / The Phoenix.

(Well you don't really have to imagine her excitement, here's photographic proof!)

We join Sophie Delacourt, a gutsy 12 year old embarks on a fantastic journey to the mythical lost land of Pangaea. Legend has it that dinosaurs still walk the earth there - and not just walk the earth, but are part and parcel of everyday life.

Sophie soon finds out that this is the case as her ship sails across the ocean, under the watchful eye of a grizzled but kindly bosun.

As the ship makes landfall and Sophie gets her first real sight of the amazing "long necks" and their pilots - the "Snuffmen" who hold the secret of pacifying dinosaurs to a point where they become willing mounts. Trouble soon catches up with Sophie - for the land isn't just a land of dinosaurs, it's a land of pirates and brigands too!

Her ship attacked, and the crew killed or captured, Sophie ends up leaping out of the frying pan and into the fire as she escapes the foul pirates and the evil Captain Brookes along with Kelsey, a cabin boy and a pirate ally known as Ten-Gun.

Danger isn't far behind though, as Sophie lives on her wits and fearlessness, swiftly forced to adapt to this strange new land.

Sophie is EXACTLY the sort of hero that Charlotte needs to see in comics. I've slowly introduced her to many brilliant comic series and graphic novels that are suitable for her age, and along with Pirates of Pangaea it feels like the new golden age of comics for kids is fully embracing the idea that girls are as interested in action comics as boys, and want to see heroes they can really get behind in those comics too.

"Pirates of Pangaea" is fantastic for both boys and girls, and we've been thrilling to the exploits of Sophie in the comic. If you've missed out so far though, there's really no better way to pick up the threads of this fantastic tale than with this initial collected volume.

We can't wait for the strip's return in the comic and for the collected volume 2! C'mon Daniel and Neill, get scribbling!

Charlotte's best bit: "Pirates of Pangaea" was her comic introduction, she absolutely loves the mix of fast-paced action, dino thrills and a tough gutsy girl hero to look up to. Utterly brilliant!

Daddy's Favourite bit: It's just such a brilliant idea! Mixing dinosaurs and pirates in a thoroughly original fantastically written and illustrated strip that cannot fail to get kids completely hooked!

(Kindly sent to us for review by David Fickling Books)

Like this? We think you'll love these too!

Long Gone Don Volume 1 by The Etherington Brothers

Mo-Bot High - Book 1 by Neill Cameron

Star Cat Volume 1 by James Turner