Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Reader's Diary #1910- Chad Sell: The Cardboard Kingdom

Lately I've been finding so many great books with diverse characters. Chad Sell's graphic novel The Cardboard Kingdom definitely belongs in this category.

It revolves around a bunch of kids from a variety of races, with a variety of family make-ups, and characters from the LGBTQ spectrum. However, by focusing on the diversity, I'm making the book sound more didactic than it is. While there are moments when a child or a parent wrestles with their identity and questions of acceptance, for the most part diversity is simply treated as the norm... because it is normal! Instead, the book's major theme is celebrating imagination.

Set during a summer, the kids all come together building kingdoms and costumes out of cardboard, honing characters and imagining all sorts of adventures. It really took me back to my own childhood and made me nostalgic for the days pre-smartphones.

Interestingly, though Chad Sell's name is the only one on the cover, most of the chapters are co-written with a variety of other writers. The artwork helps somewhat from keeping the book from seeming disjointed, but Sell's writing should also be credited with keeping the characters feeling consistent throughout.

The art is bright and simple, sweet, fun and full of energy.

I will note, however, that I thought there'd be some sort of Marvel tie-in based upon the cover. Am I the only one seeing the Hulk, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, and Loki on there?

No comments: