Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity
Jun 10, 2011 Web Exclusive
Astronaut Academy is what I might have called "insufferably cute," except that it uses that cuteness to such great effect: enhancing punch lines, ramping up the silliness and often nonsensicalness to the Nth degree, and lending plausibility to a ridiculous, sci-fi, video-game, and manga-inspired world.
This book boasts a diverse cast of pre-teen aspiring astronauts, scientists, time travelers, and jocks from a smattering of worlds. The POV character, Hakata Soy, is a nice send up of the overly serious loner. His mysterious past as a member of a Voltron-like robot defense team kicks the plot off nicely -- he's two weeks late for school due to being captured by his bird-costumed arch enemies—and keeps the plot moving even as Roman introduces the fairly expansive supporting cast.
On balance, Astronaut Academy utilizes simple (and, again, super cute) cartooning to tell a story that's surprisingly complex, as well as rich with both textual and visual gags. Definitely good for "all-audiences," adults and kids can equally enjoy the story, and it's an excellent tome to get youngsters excited about reading comics. (www.firstsecondbooks.typepad.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 5/10
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