Reading Challenges

Canadian Books 7
July - June 2014



Comments for Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack cover art (Link goes to Powells)Calamity Jack: 02/20/10

I had the pleasure of reading Rapunzel's Revenge for the 2008 Cybils. Shortly after the Cybils ended, Nathan Hale, the illustrator, posted sketches of the sequel, Calamity Jack. Thus began my year long obsession of waiting for the sequel.

On page 50 of Rapunzel's Revenge Jack gives a quick explanation of why he's hiding out in the badlands of Gothel's Reach. It's a throw away line, two sentences long. Calamity Jack fills in the blanks of that story as Jack and Rapunzel travel to the city to set things right.

Before Jack and Rapunzel arrive in town to stop the ant people and bring down another tyrant Jack reveals his past. His story as expected is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk but in an urban setting. Jack also goes into his history and transformation from schemer and petty crook to the character we meet in the first book.

Most of Jack's transformation is told through Nathan Hale's excellent illustrations.  I especially like the panels on page 13 that begin to show Jack's insecurities.

From page 40 onwards the focus is on Jack's return to the City with Rapunzel. Quickly they are in the middle of trouble with the Ant People terrorizing the train they're on and later the City itself. The trolls are using the ants as an excuse to run the town with an iron fist. With the help of a plucky and technology obsessed newspaper man they decide to put an end to Blunderboar's monopoly over the City.

I loved Calamity Jack. I have to admit to having a literary crush on Jack. So having a graphic novel centered on him was two days of pure reading joy.

The comic ends on a romantic cliff hanger and I'm hoping it means that there might be a third adventure in the future.

I bought the book for review.

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