Friday, 2 October 2015

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 2nd October 2015 - "Evil Emperor Penguin Book 1" by Laura Ellen Anderson (David Fickling Books)

He's short, he's portly, he smells faintly of herring but he's the most evil despotic villain in the universe (and we love him!) Our second Book of the Week this week is "Evil Emperor Penguin Book 1" by Laura Ellen Anderson
Amidst a whoop of glee and then hours of blissful silence, "Evil Emperor Penguin Book 1" arrived at ReadItDaddy Towers and was promptly penguin-napped by Charlotte. She has loved EEP in "The Phoenix Comic" ever since it first appeared, and though if pushed, she'd actually categorically state that she only reads the strip because she has a massive crush on cuddly Eugene, she cackles with glee at the antics of the Evil Emp himself.

To give you a little background on the strip, EEP is like a pint-sized Ming the Merciless - only in penguin form. His henchmen, the aforementioned cute and cuddly Eugene (for goodness sake DFB, get Eugene plushies into stores before Christmas and you'll make a MINT!) and a prissy and very clever butler simply known as "Number 8" stand by his side through thick and thin, and through one terribly rubbish plan for world domination after another.

Something tells us that this isn't going to end well!
One of the reasons we've always championed The Phoenix Comic is because of the folk who work on it. Laura Ellen Anderson's utterly fantastic creation has all the qualities you'd want to see in a villain. He's gigantically egotistical, he's menacing, he's indefatigable but he's also secretly a bit hopeless though we'd challenge anyone to say that to his pint-sized penguin face!

Through each strip, Laura's eye for detail and brilliant pop culture references (a Jurassic Park reference early on in this collected volume just completely slays me every time I see it, brilliance!) contribute to a fantastic and entertaining comic creation that continues to dominate as The Phoenix whizzes past its 200th issue with ease.

When Charlotte emerged, looking slightly dazed from practically inhaling the whole collected volume in one sitting I asked her what her favourite bits were. She fixed me with a steely expression. "It's ALL good, what are you talking about Daddy?" so if there's a finer recommendation to make about a book of the week, I don't think I've ever seen it. Stop mucking about with your penguin-poo-powered death ray or your unicorn-jumper-firing penguin robot and go out and buy a copy RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!

Charlotte's favourite bit: Though it's not featured in this collection, she still talks about last year's Christmas Special where Eugene draws a lovely christmassy picture for EEP who ends up ripping it and triggers an amazing "A Christmas Carol" episode of the strip that is both mind-bendingly funny and actually quite tear-jerkingly touching as well. Laura, you are a flipping GENIUS!

Daddy's favourite bit: That Jurassic Park reference - but really can't disagree with Charlotte, EEP goes from strength to strength, constantly making us giggle and cheer, and perhaps hope that maybe one day we'll all end up as human slaves in a penguin nation AIEEEEEE!

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

"Evil Emperor Penguin Book 1"

Written and Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Published by David Fickling Books

Release Date: 1st October 2015