Reviews for Flight Explorer 1

Booklist Reviews 2008 March #2
A few years ago, Image Comics and later Villard published a series of anthologies for adults entitled Flight, which showcased active cartoonists' brief works. Flight Explorer does much the same thing, although the stories collected here are suitable for a young audience. Among the artists and writers represented in this first volume are Kean Soo, animator Rad Sechrist, Joahane Matte, Bone colorist Steve Hamaker, and video-game and children's-book illustrator Matthew S. Armstrong. Each of the 10 stories in this launch volume is strong, engaging, and laced with humor. Editor Kibuishi's Copper follows the adventure of a smart dog that unwillingly accompanies its master across a field of giant mushrooms and literally falls into their hands, and Hamaker's Fish ‘n' Chips, All in a Day's Work uses a goldfish in a bowl as a key ingredient in tale mixing space operetta and superheroics. The variety of artistic styles, subject matter, and storytelling techniques combine to make this an intelligent mix, with high appeal to beginning graphic-novel aficionados. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 February #1
A welcome addition to the still-thin ranks of graphic fiction for younger children, this collection offers ten entertaining new tales from as many authors. The plots range from a child's snowy romp with a purple monster (Kean Soo's "Jellaby--First Snow") and the discomfiting results of having idle wishes come true (Ben Hatke's "Zita the Spacegirl--Wishing Socks"), to Jake Parker's more conventional battle between a snarky hero mouse and a huge commando droid in "Missile Mouse--The Guardian Prophecy." Texts are terse or, in several cases, nonexistent, and the colorful, crisply reproduced art has a consistent look throughout; even less able readers should have no trouble following the action and appreciating the humor. Like Kibuishi's Flight series for adults, this is likely to "fly" off library shelves--and also set up a clamor both for future volumes and for the full-length ones in which many of these characters already star. (Graphic short stories. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 March #5

The multi-volume Flight anthology series has introduced a group of young cartoonists influenced more by animation than by American comics; this work is its new sibling, featuring 10 Flight artists writing and drawing short, whimsical stories aimed at middle-graders. Kibuishi leads it off with the two strongest stories: a cheerfully surreal episode of his own boy-and-his-dog series, Copper, in which the heroes traverse a chasm by jumping on giant mushrooms that turn out to be the heads of threatening creatures, and Johane Matte's "Perfect Cat," a little fable written and drawn in the style of mod '60s animation, about a grouchy alley cat in ancient Egypt who learns that feline perfection has its downside. The rest are more hit-and-miss: Kean Soo's "First Snow," an episode of his girl-and-her-monster series, Jellaby, is nearly plotless, and Jake Parker's "Missile Mouse: The Guardian Prophecy" is pro forma sci-fi. Some pieces start with a funny premise (Ben Hatke's "If Wishes Were Socks" concerns a girl, her robot and a magical wishing sock), but then spin their wheels. The book's full-color art is consistently stylish--Matthew Armstrong's "Snow Cap" stands out visually--but readers may find themselves wishing for better developed tales. Ages 8-up. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 May

Gr 4-8 -In this companion book to the "Flight" series for older readers, the editor succeeds in putting together a remarkable collection that will appeal to a younger audience. Kean Soo's "Jellaby," for example, shows the humorous and contemplative moments between a girl and a friendly monster as they experience their first snowfall together. More comedic is Kibuishi's story about crossing a ravine of mushrooms and Johane Matte's Egyptian cat whose haughtiness dissolves into grossly indulgent self-pity. Perhaps most rousing is Jake Parker's "Missile Mouse," an action-packed space drama complete with a prophecy, explosions, and lessons about responsibility and trust. While there is no underlying theme to the anthology, every story has a layout that promotes an acute sense of pacing and showcases the crisp, defined, full-color art indicative of some of the creators' animation backgrounds. Flight Explorer is an excellent introduction to graphic novels as it shows that you're never too young to laugh, think, and take part in some visual feasting.-Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

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