If you have read my reviews of Kazu Kibuishi's previous works,Copper and the fantastic Amulet series, which is now up to book 4, then you may know that Kibuishi is also the editor of Flight series of graphic novels for adults that bring together amazing writers and artists in what can only be called a "short story collection" of comics, now up to volume 8. In 2008 Random House put out Flight Explorer, the kid's version of the collection and was never heard from again - until now! The superb publisher Amulet brings us what I hope is the first in a long series of graphic novels, Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, with stories by Kibuishi,Emily Carroll, Rad Sechrist, Raina Telegemeier, Dave Roman, Jason Caffoe, Stuart Livingston and Johane Matte.
As you might have guessed, each story involves a mysterious box and the creators bring seriously imaginative (and creepy and funny and suspenseful) takes to this idea. The seven stories As someinExplorer: The Mystery Boxes take place in the present, the past and what may be the future, on earth, in space and a few other places. There are wax dolls that come to life, wizards in sandals, guarded treasure, Japanese sprits that may also be butter thieves, glowing ghosts, frazzled aliens and a creature who offers the chance to escape a dying planet. As a whole, it is amazing to see the different directions that these storytelling artists ran in with the idea of a mystery box. As individual stories, each one feels like a complete meal, despite being told in twenty pages or less. Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is a must for fans of Kibuishi, Telegemeier and Roman. For everyone else, Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is a treat waiting to be opened!
|From Jason Caffoe's THE KEEPER'S TREASURE|
|From Stuart Livingston and Stephanie Ramirez's THE SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER|
From WHATZIT by Johane Matte and Saymone Phanekahm