The Boston Comics Roundtable, in partnership with River Bird Comics has recently published a fantastic all-ages comics anthology called GULP! containing eleven stories, all based on a theme every child can relate to: monsters! The contributors all hail from the New England area, featuring co-editor Dan Moynihan, Rachel Dukes, Owen Heitmann, Clay McCormack, John Lechner, Ansis Purins, Jef Czekaj, Michael Lee Harris, Greg Cook, Eric Boeker with Dirk Tiede, and Jerel Dye.
The book itself is 52 pages of risograph blue and orange art on a stapled 6.5” x 5” landscape comic. The colors are vibrant, and tie together the diverse cartooning styles to a cohesive whole. Each story has a slightly different take on your typical scary monster tale and some of the most interesting find monsters in shapes and forms which you wouldn’t expect.
But the real test of any all-ages comic is how it well it resonates with the kids. So, I’ve decided to take some feedback from my 9-year-old daughter who just finished reading GULP!
Maybe it’s because the Halloween spirit is in the air, but my daughter was really drawn to this book. Her overall comment was how she really appreciated the diversity of the styles and stories, feeling like she could recommend the book to her girl or boy friends. As she put it, there’s a story for every personality.
She mentioned three stories which were stand-outs for her: Ghost Cat by Rachel Dukes which she liked for the flip-flop narrative and “realistic” cat drawings, The Garden Monster by John Lechner for it’s surprising monster reveal and drawings with “not a lot of detail” which is a style she likes, and Up The Creek by Owen Heitmann which she thought was funny, sad, scary and adventurous all in one.
So there you have it. A strong thumbs up from the audience that GULP! was meant to appeal to most. What better endorsement could you ask for?
Read more about GULP! or buy a copy from their web store at gulp.riverbirdcomics.com.