The Kurdles

Fantagraphics

By Robert Goodin

May 29, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Robert Goodin (who is currently an animator on American Dad) weaves a unique and magical yarn in his latest graphic novel, The Kurdles. Sally is a teddy bear callously discarded from the family car on a road trip by the bratty child she belongs to. She tumbles through the mud, gets scooped up by an owl, and eventually finds herself near Kurdleton, a hamlet inhabited by pint-sized mythical residents. Pentapus is a color-changing, five-legged creature. Phineas looks like a scarecrow, complete with straw hat, and Hank is a diminutive yet muscular unicorn. Together, they're in a hurry to cure Hank's house of a disease, which has caused it to grow hair, eyes, and a mouth, and which will soon cause it to sprout legs and wander away. In exchange for return to the highway onto which she was tossed, Sally agrees to lend a hand in saving Hank's house.

The Kurdles is a brief, yet fantastical journey that imaginatively chronicles something so simple as a little help from one's friends. Sure, the setup is truly unique. A hirsute house that sings drunken sailor tunes, while a unicorn and teddy bear and others try to essentially nair the hair away is about as bizarre as story as they come. Yet, boil it down, and Goodin's book is one we can all relate to. Friends help friends when they're in need, and they do so while joking, joshing, and generally having a good time. That's what Sally finds in the residents of Kurdletona group of friends willing and eager to help one another. The weight of her departure from her own intimate circle in the beginning isn't as strong as it could be to fully offset the camaraderie she finds in Kurdleton, but the creativity with which Goodin tells the storyfrom the characters to the setting to the premise itselfgo a long way toward bolstering any shortcomings that stem from the brevity of the book. Slightly older children should find the characters and situations compelling and giggle-inducing, while the magic of the book won't be lost on adults, either. (www.fantagraphics.com/kurdles)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10



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