Depictions: The Collected Alison Dare
makes a grand point this week -- as fanboys, it's our duty
to create new fanboys and fangirls. And the only way to do
that (well, after actually creating them) is to get them to
ever wanted a comic book you could read with
your children, or one that you could hand to little Bobby
Joe and just let him go wild? Thanks, once again, to Oni Press,
we have one: Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures, written
by J. Torres and drawn by J. Bone.
isnt your typical 12-year-old. Her father is a superhero,
operating under the name The Blue Scarab, and her mother is
a world-trotting archaeologist, much in the vein of Indiana
Jones. And while both of her parents (divorced and splitting
custody of Alison) want their child to be safe from the danger
inherent in their lives, Alison seems to always find a way
into the most awkward and dangerous situations. She also tends
to drag her best friends from school, Wendy and Dot, along
for the ride.
itself is short. It contains three stories, similar to the
way Judd Winick writes The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy
Genius, each story just a fun little adventure about Alison
and her friends and family. The dialogue is simple and easy
for children to understand, which must have been deliberate
on Torress part. He seems to have written a story simple
enough for children, but fun enough for adult comic book fans
to enjoy. And he doesnt talk down to the audience in
his writing, either. In one instance in the second story,
Torres throws in some ancient Egyptian history, but unlike
some hack childrens book writers, he maintains historical
factor that makes one assume Torres is trying to hook a younger
audience on comic books is on the back cover. There is actually
a side column titled Heres what kids are saying about
Alison Dare and list several quotes from 8, 9, and 11-year-olds
about why they love Alison Dare. One of them being Its
a lot better than Powerpuff Girls.
cartoonishly stylized art; think of it as a less gritty, more
of Powers. Actually, that fits fine with the light-heartedness
of the stories and main character.
Bone is also good at pacing his panels. Some artists rush
into a story and try to tell too much or too little in just
one panel of space, but Bone doesnt, moving the story
along easily and making every panel flow into the next. His
timing is best showcased in the second story, when Alison
is explaining to her friends how her dad, in the guise of
the Blue Scarab, will defeat the frosty, evil ways of Auntie
Now, youre asking yourself Why should I buy this
book if I dont have any ankle biters to share it with?
comics today are the best theyve ever been (at least
thats my humble opinion) for the reason that comics
have grown-up, so to speak. Weve got people
like Alan Moore and Warren Ellis writing graphic novels and
comics that deconstruct the superhero genre in books like
Top Ten and Planetary. Weve got Brian
Michael Bendis and Mike Avon Oeming giving us gritty crime
drama in Powers and Goldfish. And our funny
books are things like the hilariously foul-mouthed and aforementioned
Barry Ween by Winick. We, the fanboys and comic book
aficionados, have grown up too, to enjoy these kinds of books.
knows that it sucks to grow up. Remember when finding a piece
of candy that had been in your coat pocket for days, was like
finding Solomons mines? Remember when mud was something
to make pies out of, and not a facial treatment? Do you recall
getting cooties was worse than the bubonic plague?
a kid was great and we too often forget just how easy most
kids have it (except for those poor Amish kids, man, nothing
to look forward to but barn raising and butter churning).
Alison Dare reminds the reader that being a kid was
a copy of this book (its only $8.95), then squeeze into
those Superman Underoos, grab a juice box, and pretend that
youre a kid again. But change the underoos afterward.
If you can get out of them, I mean.
up Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures, at Amazon.com