Brandy's Reviews > Into The Volcano

Into The Volcano by Don    Wood
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's review
Nov 17, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008reads, comics, childrens, for-reviews, adventure, boy-books, bullies
Read in November, 2008

Brothers Duffy and Sumo Pugg are a little confused when they’re sent to stay with Aunt Lulu and their cousin Come-and-Go (that's really his name) for 10 days while their parents are away on business, but that’s nothing compared to how confused they’ll be later on. Amid earthquakes and volcano eruptions, the boys are forced to evacuate with trusted family guides into the maze of tunnels under the volcano itself. It’s soon evident, though, that the guides are looking for something… and the boys are the bait they need to find it. With the volcano about to blow any minute, it’s a terrible time for the boys to get separated from the group—but how else will they find out for themselves what their family is searching for?

The art is nice to look at, and the story could be interesting, but it jumps around too much. Parts of the narrative are disjointed, leading this reader to wonder if pages or panels had been edited out and the information not replaced. Chapter transitions are weak—the beginning of a chapter is the same scene and conversation as the end of the previous chapter, or there’s an unexplained shift from one place to another so the reader spends several panels trying to catch up on the action. The brothers are twins, presumably (they’re in the same class at school), but one is written far younger than the other.

Wood has won several illustration awards, but the ability to illustrate a story is not necessarily related to the ability to tell a story in pictures. Wood’s author bio says that he was “fascinated by the possibilities of the graphic novel” and that he worked on this book for five years—but his strength is not in sequential art narrative. Had he collaborated with a writer instead of doing it all himself, it could have been a much stronger book. It’s pretty to look at and the adventure can be compelling, but overall the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Recommended for collections where boys are clamoring for more adventure books.
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