Sunday, 21 June 2020

#Booky100Keepers Day 49: "The Akissi Comics" by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin (Flying Eye Books)

Some creative pairings are legendary from the moment they put pen to paper, or cursor to word processor. In the case of Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin, the creative gods were definitely smiling down on us all when they began to collaborate on their brilliantly funny comic strips, bringing "Akissi" to the world and being a huge part of what convinced my daughter that comics were well worth investing her reading time in.

"Akissi" tells the story of a little girl living in Africa, largely based on Marguerite's own childhood before she moved to Paris.

Akissi is a kick-ass ball of energy who doesn't seem to sit still for more than 5 seconds, is usually up to mischief, usually drives her parents and teachers completely crazy, but quite often relies on the help of her friends (and her cute monkey sidekick Boubou) to get her out of mischief.

The first collected volumes of stories were translated by Flying Eye Books back in 2013, and we had a long wait for more - but it was well worth it (a further third volume of Akissi stories is coming from Flying Eye this year, and we just can't wait - in fact we may come kicking and screaming out of retirement just to talk about it if it arrives after we've gone!).

So what makes these strips so good?

They're so BUSY for starters. Full of movement, detail, brilliant (and extremely funny) dialogue, and characters that stick in the memory from Akissi herself to her long-suffering parents, her (teasing) brother Fofana and her school pals.

What we weren't prepared for was how immersive these stories were. You really do feel like you're seeing a piece of African township life in every strip. How people live day to day, what kids do at school, what they do for fun - but brilliantly entertaining and rib-ticklingly funny. We just can't get enough of them and like many of our #Booky100Keepers - particularly on the comic side of the house - these are brilliant if you have a reluctant solo reader who wants the added impetus of fantastic stories to draw them into a real love of reading. Forget the classics, this is where you need to start them off!

Original Review Links: 

Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin (Flying Eye Books)

ReadItDaddy's Comic / Graphic Novel of the Week - Week Ending 28th June 2019: "Akissi Volume 2: More Tales of Mischief" by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin (NoBrow / Flying Eye)

Five fantastic comics to get your kids interested in reading!

25 Comics and Graphic Novels that are a perfect jumping-in point for your kids - Part 1: Early Years and Middle Grade