It’s been a while since that wonderful daughter of mine has been bothered to write a review for me, and for the FPI blog. Frankly, she’s 12 now, and once she”s done her homework, the last thing she wants is to write more stuff.
She is reading quite a lot of comics right now though, and promises she’ll get around to reviewing them. Actually that’s not quite true. Whenever I broach the subject her response runs something like “yeah, sure, when you get around to downloading that stuff I’ve asked for…”.
So here we go. Pirate Penguin Vs Ninja Chicken. This cost me a Jesse J album and some god-awful noise from that bunch of Cowell runner-ups One bloody Direction. But it was worth it…. now, over to Molly:
Pirate Penguin Vs Ninja Chicken: Troublems with Frenemies
By Ray Friesen
The first time you meet Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken they’re good friends, and they have absolutely no idea why the book has the whole versus thing in the title….. but a need for smoothies and a lack of money manages to change all that:
And that’s how the book keeps going – basically it’s all about a Penguin, who happens to be a pirate. A very silly pirate. And a chicken who dresses like a ninja and he’s pretty silly as well. These two are the best of friends one minute and the worst of enemies the next. That’s the whole “frenemies” thing. They have lots of fun, but fights break out all the time, over the silliest of things. But silly is good – and silly is very funny.
It’s split into strips that are mostly just 2 pages long, with a repeating story structure…. introduction / talk / some sort of falling out / funny gag at the end.
And with these strips all following the same structure you’d think it could get boring….. but it doesn’t, as all the stories are based on different things; discos, pet shops, sword shops, etc etc.
And all the strips made me laugh, but some made me LOL (if you older people reading this don’t know – it means laugh out loud!) I loved Bubble Troublems which is all about bubblegum and some of the ways Pirate Penguin might have lost his hand (crocodile or lightsabers). And Card Trick Or Treat was really funny as well, all about Ninja Chicken making a card tower and Penguin trying to knock it over. Then there’s Selfish Shellfish where the pair go to a supermarket and manage (somehow) to get into a fight with shellfish! And all of the shorter strips are just as funny as these.
But my very favourite strip is Tough Yet Fluffy, and I like it because it mixes comic art and photography…. and because the plush toys are so CUTE! Yes, it’s well written and the art is lovely… but really, how cute?
The book is really good because it is so funny and very cute (very). The art is really funny as well. Lots of laughs, a fast and fun read.
Richard (daddy) again…… Just to add one thing, I found it just as fast, just as funny as Molly, but I think one of the funniest elements comes from the rapid-fire dialogue Friesen delivers throughout PP vs NC, and the continual piling on of bizarre silliness – full of funny and inventive ideas. But never more so than in the extended story that fills the latter half of the book, here Friesen uses the space he’s given himself with a longer storyline to spread the action and the gags out, freed from that (very effective and funny) constraint of setup and deliver within two pages.
So the final story, where Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken split up, with NC off to a Ninja convention and Pirate Penguin off to space with Astronaut Armadillo. And yes, of course it gets silly. And it’s fun. And it all starts with a wonderful, completely different to the short gag stips we’ve seen so far, piece of slightly, deliciously surreal comedy….