By Leroy Douresseaux
June 19, 2008 - 08:58
|Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the cover image to Yam: Bite-Size Chunks. And dig those cool jammies.|
All Ages (6-10 years and beyond)
Following a tradition set by its “silent” graphic novels – the Owly series and the recent Korgi, Top Shelf Productions presents Yam: Bite-Size Chunks from cartoonist Corey Barba. Pantomime or “silent” comics are comics that avoid words, captions, and written sound effects in favor of using only the comic illustrations and universal symbols (such as the question mark) to tell the story – pictures instead of words. Like Owly and Korgi, Yam: Bite-Size Chunks is a children’s comic, which publisher Top Shelf Productions is specifically marketing to 6-10-year-olds.
The title character Yam is an elementary school-age boy who wears orange, hooded, footy pajamas, but in the cartoon tradition is able to live on his own in a thatched-roof house (on stilts). His pet is a playful anthropomorphized television set, a raincoat-wearing girl feline named Marzipan Gato, and also an unnamed girl, with Marzipan and the human girl both being about Yam’s age.
Yam comic strips have previously appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine and a few Yam mini-comics. Yam: Bite-Size Chunks collects the four Nick Mag strips and the mini-comics with new material including a one-page “How to Draw Yam” tutorial. This is all anchored by a 38-page tale (“Toy with My Dreams”) in which Yam thinks he’s found his true love in the form of an older girl who works at a county fair toy booth.
Reading Yam: Bite-Size Chunks, one could easily come up with the notion that Corey Barba seems like a natural at creating children’s comics. That notion would be absolutely correct because Yam comics are the perfect children’s comics. The soft shapes and simple forms of the drawings, the whimsical nature, fanciful spirit, and warm-heartedness seem tailor made for even readers younger than six. These tales are like a daydream on a sunny afternoon in which a young imagination travels to weird, exotic, and strange places – like Oz or Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Like these places, Yam’s world is a fun place to be.
Yam: Bite-Size Chunks is a MUST must-have when it comes to “all ages” comics.