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Zita The Spacegirl

Zita The Spacegirl

Zita The Spacegirl back

Ben Hatke


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Exceptionally fine and funny all-ages romp which combines the wonder, weirdness and humour of Mark Crilley's AKIKO with M'Oak's shorthand faces. The colours are lovely, and there's no hanging around as Zita and Joseph encounter a meteorite, a button attached and, hey presto, Joseph is pulled through a portal. Which is an interesting excuse for lost homework. Zita, obviously, is somewhat freaked-out; but wait until you see what's on the other side...

The humour nis timed to perfection, and I love the genuinely freakish nature of this weird new world's inhabitants: a walking wad of turf, crawling with spiders and buzzing with flies (there's a bit of Simone Lia in there); Strong-Strong with the body and brain of wet clay; a Heavily Armoured Mobile Battle Orb called One whom I cannot help but hear voiced by Brian Blessed; a robot called Randy on his last legs (so Zita finds him a new pair that squeak); a giant mouse that communicates in symbols through a mechanical ticket dispenser tied round his neck; and a pair of maintenance vole-like men, drawn to dripping water, who seem to live in the plumbing and look like those crazy souls left in a dungeon too long. Here they find Zita crying alone by their pipes.

"I told you there was a leak! Saltwater too. That means rust."
"RUST!?! What're we gonna DO?"
"How many times I gotta explain it, Jerry?" To fix this sorta leak all you gotta go is tell it GOOD NEWS!"
"Oh, right! In three days time an asteroid is gonna EXPLODE IS ALL!"
"That was BAD news, Jerry."

So the world is going to explode in three days and Joseph was last seen being swept away by the skittering Screed, all mechanised tendrils topped off by a diving helmet. They're heading for the Scriptorians' castle across the Rusted Wastes, the result of the Scriptorians' attempt to blow up the approaching asteroid using a doomsday device (note: never use a doomsday device - it does what it says on the tin), because Joseph forms part of plan B.

Like Jamie Smart (LOOSHKIN etc.), I quickly tire of comics that lack the requisite wit and flair to capture a child's imagination - as if children are any less demanding than adults. This captured mine and kept me chortling throughout: the expressions are a right giggle and the energy in the cartooning when Ben lets himself go is thrilling. To discover on top of that a climax which tied everything together... Bravo!

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