“Zita the Spacegirl???” Yes, I really enjoy science fiction and fantasy, and quality illustrations, so I entered a drawing to receive a copy of this graphic novel by a young Catholic artist. Below is my review, posted originally on Goodreads, the website through which I got the book.
Note: this book is appropriate for the young (some reviewers say “6-12 yrs old”), but also for the young at heart (I enjoyed it, and I’m nearing 40…).
A few months ago I came across Ben Hatke’s art and his blog when he was interviewed on the Gryphon Rampant blog. It was then that I first was charmed by Hatke’s delightful illustrations, and heard about his graphic novel “Zita the Spacegirl”. When I saw the opportunity to get a copy through the “First Reads” giveaway, I signed up, with little hope of being chosen.
As it turns out, I was selected to receive a copy! I received it today and hastened to read it through. I was not disappointed! To begin with, the book itself is very well printed and bound, so Hatke’s beautiful illustrations literally shine. The novel starts off with with Zita and Joseph, two human children in a woodland setting on Earth, but the story soon moves to a far-off planet filled with zany creatures. There is a nice pacing of the story by alternating action and dialogue panels with other, mostly wordless panels detailing the landscape or presenting short vignettes of highly imaginative creatures and amusing incidents that are barely (if at all) related to the main story. Hatke manages to have funny and cute characters without overdoing it on the saccharine scale.
Although I grew up surrounded by my older brother’s collection of comic books, I am something of an outsider to the world of graphic novels, so I can’t say much about how this one compares to others. However, I certainly enjoyed this one. I would buy a sequel!