Critters: Underdark
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 18 December 2019

Critters: Underdarkby Allan DotsonPublished by YNWPReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.95 ISBN 9-781988-783437 How best to describe Regina writer, artist and teacher Allan Dotson’s monster-inspired graphic novel, Critters: Underdark … a 153-page, 10-years-in-the -making labour of love, and black and white demonstration of great talent? An equally touching and humorous allegory for our socially-fractured and racially- divisive times? A textual and artistic tour-de-force? Each of the above applies, but at the heart of this fantasy’s success is the creator’s unique imagination, his skill at storytelling, and his deft ability to create individuated “monsters” – both visually and literarily – that readers of all ages will quickly care about. It’s easy to suspend disbelief and get wrapped up in the train-wrecked world of innocent Eddy – a pincered “ettercap” who looks like a louse – and his first friend, the snaggle-toothed monster Sally, who tells also-caged Eddy: “You’re not alone. We’re all scared.” Eddy’s toddler-like diction is adorable, ie: “Is we all getting’ stuffs? Like weppins?” and “O nos! Thems gonna git us!” Many things are “skeery”. In the first few pages we learn that these creatures, captured along with several others by the dwarves at the bidding of the medusa queen,…

Modo
Arthur Slade / 6 November 2015

Modo: Ember’s End Written by Arthur Slade, Art by Christopher Steininger Review by Courtney Bates-Hardy $20.00 ISBN 978-0-9880139-0-2 Modo: Ember’s End is a graphic novel that follows the adventures of Modo, the main character from The Hunchback Assignments, a previously published four book series. However, you don’t need to have read the series to enjoy the graphic novel. It’s a standalone story set in the Old West, with a steampunk twist. Modo is hunchbacked with the unique ability to change his appearance for short amounts of time. His friend, and fellow British spy, Octavia, provides the comic relief as they make their way in Ember’s End. Upon their arrival, they are quickly deputized and pulled into a race to find a mystery device made by a former weapons inventor. Unfortunately, someone else is after it too. The mercenary Ogden Bull will stop at nothing to find it before they do. His assassin, a ninja with glowing eyes, is after them and their only help is a mysterious young woman with a clockwork heart. These characters will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. A middle school audience will really enjoy this story, although it has appeal for older audiences…