"The Reaper of St. George Street" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Pineapple Press
Written and Illustrated by Andre Frattino
$10.95, 256 Pages
Graphic Novel Released on March 1st, 2012
Despite there being a ton of comics out there right now meant for an older audience, we often forget that funny book readers used to be made up entirely by children. Those kids grew up and got jobs and now have disposable incomes, so now comics are made for them. There just aren't many books out there meant for a younger audience, probably because they don't have money. Fortunately there are still publishers around that release new kid-friendly comics and Pineapple Express appears to be one of them with their latest graphic novel, The Reaper of St. George Street.
The comic centers on Will, newcomer to the town of St. Augustine, a place that's rumored to be haunted by all kinds of ghosts. Will is a bit of a skeptic, though so it will take some convincing for him to believe that there are some things in the area that go bump in the night. In his travels he encounters a pirate / pick-pocket, a stereotypical nerdy gamer, a hot girl that may or may not be a ghost, and a witch. With their powers combined they for a mystery-solving team that would give Scooby Doo a run for his money.
The group is investigating a bizarre reaper ghost that is attacking people in the area. In their quest to uncover the truth, they delve into the strange history of the town and of some of their own members. This is the first volume in a series, with the second one scheduled for release this September. You can see how this book is meant to bring everyone together for further adventures. It's basically an origin story.
Andre Frattino wrote and illustrated The Reaper of St. George Street. The story itself is pretty light with a basic whodunit type mystery. The artwork walks in step with the plot, providing a fun, cartoony look to the book. It's presented in black and white, which works okay here, but I would love to see what it would look like after a decent colorist got his or her hands on it. Colors would really make Frattino's pencils pop.
I'm obviously not the target demographic for The Reaper of St. George Street, but I can see what they're going for. Some of the humor is pretty bland and might strike a chord with a younger crowd, but I had to groan a few times at most of the lame jokes. The book is recommended for ages 13 and up, but that might be too old. The plot isn't quite cool enough for a moody teenager, but if a younger kid at least has a passing understanding of what death is and doesn't get spooked by ghosts, this is totally okay for them. This is definitely not be one of those comics that is enjoyed by adults and kids alike, but younger kids should find this a fun ride.