292: Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy A. Bastien

Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy A. Bastien (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 152
Ages: 10+
Finished: Oct. 5, 2012
First Published: Oct. 16, 2012
Publisher: Archaia Press
Genre: MG, YA, graphic novel, fantasy, pirates
Rating: 2.5/5

First sentence: "Now Apollonia, take care.  These people are savages and must not be trusted." 

Publisher's Summary: "Adventures on and under the high seas lead a cursed pirate girl to encounter mythic creatures, gnarled and crusty pirates, and ghostly apparitions as she tries to find her lost father, one of the dreaded Pirate Captains of the mythical Omerta Seas. A whimsical swashbuckling tale of wonderland journeys and unimaginable dangers, starting in Port Elisabeth, Jamaica in the year 1728, and quickly heading across – and beneath – the waves. The first three issues are collected with an all-new epilogue."

Acquired: Received an egalley from the publisher through Net Galley

Reason for Reading: I enjoy shipping/sailing and pirate stories.  So this seemed right up my alley.

My first impression of this book was how gorgeous the illustrations were.  Exquisitely rendered in the tiniest detail, each frame is jam-packed full of the tiniest elements.  Graphically speaking I found there were too many huge speech balloons to match this type of art, as it was covered a large portion of the time with the bubbles.  The placement of speech bubbles is important in relationship to the art and it didn't work here for me.  As to the story itself, very early on I began thinking "Alice in Wonderland"  The story is populated by extremely strange characters who are not all humanoid; they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: all head with tiny bodies, disproportionate body parts, part animal/part human and the extremely strange.  The dialogue reflects Alice's nonsensical world also, with the characters here emulating it by talking in circles and not always really making sense.  Pirate Girl herself is bigger than life, has strange creatures for friends, a talking parrot as well and gets round by riding a large fish.  The whole book is way out there, which is not necessarily a bad thing, though I'm not a big fan of Alice in Wonderland.

But honestly, I got bored reading this and halfway through kept wishing it would hurry up and end.  I have a feeling my opinion will be in the minority with this book, but so be it.  It just didn't do it for me.  A significantly better and quite bizarre pirate story is "The Unsinkable Walker Bean" by Aaron Renier {First Second Books}, in my opinion.