Friday, 29 June 2018

ReadItDaddy's Comic of the Week - Week Ending 29th June 2018: "All Summer Long" by Hope Larson (FirstSecond Books)

Our Comic of the Week is a fabulously observed slice of teen angst and summer madness wrapped up between the covers of a blissfully brilliant graphic novel. It's summertime, let's dive in...

When I was an angsty teen, I remember spending an inordinate amount of the long summer holidays wrapped up in comics and graphic novels.

Most of the nerdy kids at school (who I kinda bonded with over D & D sessions, Atari videogames and other nerd-like pursuits) would disappear into their darkened bedrooms during the warm weather, leaving the rest of us outdoorsy bike-riding kids to roam the neighbourhood in search of fun. 

In "All Summer Long" Hope Larson beautifully captures that kind of summer in a slice of life from over the pond in this gloriously well-observed coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel. 

Eisner Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling Hope Larson turns her storytelling talents on thirteen-year-old Bina whose usually meticulously planned "Fun List" of summer activities ends up blown out of the water thanks to her best friend. 

Bina and Austin usually do everything together, but he's off to soccer camp for a month, and he's been acting kind of weird lately anyway (boys, tchoh!)

So it's up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. 

At first it's a lot of guitar playing, boredom, terrible English accents and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin's older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. 

But then Austin comes home from camp, and he's acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.

I had to give this the once-over to ensure it was OK for a ten year old, suffice to say that it explores a lot of stuff that early teens will be fine with but 10 year olds probably don't quite understand. 

As it is though there's nothing to cause offence in here - and it's so beautifully written and drawn that it should easily make your summer list of stuff you absolutely need to read. Oh and a huge huge bonus from me for giving Bina a fantastic "The Sundays" Tee for most of the story!

"All Summer Long" by Hope Larson is out now, published by FirstSecond Publishing (kindly supplied for review).