FCBD 2015: Free Comic Book Day book reviews, Part Three


TERRIBLE LIZARD #1 FCBD EDITION  (Oni Press)  Written by Cullen Bunn. Illustrated by Drew Moss.  Twenty-two page story.

Terrible Lizard is a light-hearted and amusing tale of a friendship between a teenage girl and a T-Rex dinosaur pulled out of space-time.  This is an all-ages story that really does offer something for everyone. Jessica Anders is a typical teenage girl, part tomboy and mischievous. She’s lonely and bored with her life at Cosmos Labs.  Her single father is a respected scientist dedicating too many hours to a temporal displacement project.  Due to the impatience of the military funding his research, a lab accident brings several dinosaurs and giant monsters from their time-line into the present.  Teenage girl and T-Rex  (nicknamed Wrex) instantly bond. She becomes its’ champion/defender and the favor is returned.


COVER APPEAL:  With a tiny girl riding on the back of a huge dinosaur, there is just enough of a cartoony look to the cover to appeal to the right audience without making it look silly or childish. Dinosaurs have a lot of magnetism with the younger set, and older. Hey, who doesn’t like a good dinosaur yarn?  With the promise of a Godzilla-like monster that is toned down for a younger audience, this cover should also help parents give a little nudge and recommend their kids pick this one up.  3 Points.

STORY: This is both entertaining and engaging.  I’m way too old for this type of material, but not too old to enjoy and appreciate it.  I actually want to know what happens next. Writer Bunn does an effective job of setting the stage, introducing the characters, and building some suspense and mystery.  2.5 points.

ART: Without cramming too much into a single panel, there is actually some nice detail here. It’s several steps up from your standard kids comics - - good facial expressions, interesting use of colors and shading, depth and shadows used effectively.   2.5 points.

YOUTH APPEAL:  Teenagers.  Parents that don’t understand them. Dinosaurs. Friendships. Mis-understandings.  I think younger readers can be hooked on this book if they check it out. 3 points.

NEW READER APPEAL: Since it’s a reprint of Issue #1 of the monthly title (the first trade paperback just came out) it’s not hard at all. This feels like a fresh beginning because it is - - starting at ground level. 3 points.

PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: Oni doesn’t show their entire hand here, as they are a very diverse comics company covering a variety of genres and mature titles. However, they appropriately dedicate some back pages to featuring ads for other titles aimed at younger readers and continuing to target those age groups = the Courtney Crumrin series, Part-Time Princesses, Princess Ugg, Mermin, and a brand-new title debuting in July - - Junior Braves Of The Apocalypse. (Too bad no one caught the  typo on the back cover.   2.5 points.  

WOULD I PERSONALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?  I prefer more mature content, but  I don’t object to reading material aimed at a younger audience as long as it’s well written and has something to offer.  I really enjoyed Terrible Lizard and have no qualms at recommending the trade paperback, even though I haven’t read any other issues yet.  Cullen Bunn is a writer I trust to tell a good story.  (See Sixth Gun from Oni for a delightful supernatural western.)  I wasn’t familiar with the art of Drew Moss before, but I’m impressed with this.  YES!  Please check out Terrible Lizard.  2 points.







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