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  • Words: Gregory S. Baldwin
  • Art: Gregory S. Baldwin
  • Inks: Gregory S. Baldwin
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $12.95
  • Release Date: Apr 16, 2008

A little surprise was in your comic shop this week: This delightful tale about a bunny, an elephant, and an incredible journey into friendship!

Doppler is a neurotic bunny who doesn’t have much in the way of people skills, but when he is cornered by a pack of hungry crocidogs, Dodge rescues him. Dodge is an older Elephant who doesn’t see so well, but he needs help getting to his destination and against all odds, Doppler and Dodge form a very special friendship.

Baldwin has created, well, not an all ages friendly book, but an all ages hearted book. The only thing that keeps it from being all ages is the use of the word crud. Now, personally, I have a very bright eleven year old and when we come across things like this, we have open discussions about how crud is not an acceptable word for her vocabulary. I seem to have some success with this, but in this day and age people will get all up in arms if you don’t warn them that their child might see a curse replacement word. Egad, what would Mr. Wilson have been allowed to say in Dennis the Menace, if not for @#$%^!

Anyhow, let’s get back to the book at hand. This delightful graphic novel recalls the best animated features. You know, Bambi, Finding Nemo, or especially Toy Story and the first Ice Age movie. The kind of film where unlikely comrades are made and the bond that is formed is unbreakable no matter what is thrown at them. That is what this book gives us. A rabbit and an elephant. Something tells me nature didn’t necessarily plan for them to be the best of friends.

However, because of the dangers they face and a remarkable set of circumstances, the two overcome the odds and embark on a perilous journey that will not only create such a bond, but make the characters question what life and journeys are all about.

Really, there is not much more that I can say about the story, I would give up too much of a very special and surprising ending that I believe will only work in the profound way it does without the reader knowing too much about it. But trust me, if you like books like Bone, Flight, or Amulet - then this book is right up your alley.

In very expressive cartooning, Baldwin enhances his tale with unique designs and a sense of childlike imagination. The fantastic nature of the creatures swarming in at our heroes requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but at the same time they are wondrous to look at. As much as the subject matter speaks to my inner kid, the art does even more so.

In a week that really held an awful lot of merely okay books for me, reading this one reminded me of why I love this medium. I get to be a kid again and wonder at the marvelous and fantastic, but more importantly - it is something I feel comfortable sharing with my daughter and that is rare for the books I truly enjoy.

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