Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reader's Diary #1716- Roger Langridge (writer), Gisèle Lagacé (artist): Betty Boop

I didn't know a whole lot about Betty Boop before heading into this new incarnation by Roger Langridge, except that she was a slightly (sometimes not-so-slightly) sexualized singing cartoon character from the jazz era. Even knowing that little bit though was enough for me to wonder where modern writers would go with her.

While she still dresses the same (low cut, short, short dress and a heart garter), the stories are very child friendly and innocent. Most stories follow the same essential plot, Lenny Lizardlips and his trio of ghost gangsters plot to takeover Grampy's house but are inevitably foiled by Betty Boop and/or her gaggle of friends. But while simplistic, they're charming and fun.

The art, by New Brunswick illustrator Gisèle Lagacé is absolutely splendid. It's stylish and retro and adorable in that ol' timey cartoon way and coloured with colours leaning heavily on the black and white and red.

I do worry though that even with all the great features it will struggle to find an audience. With the 1930's slang and all the rhyming jazz numbers, I'm not sure enough kids will pick it up. Those that do though will be in for a treat.

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