Friday, February 3, 2012

Comic Review: Brain Camp

Sorry that this one is going up so late and that it's a bit short, no excuse for the former but I've just burned part of my hands for the second time in the week so I really don't want to do tons and tons of typing. This is a pretty quick book anyway so there isn't tons and tons for me to type, found it at the local library and recognized the title since I had seen Faith Erin Hicks, who did the art, talk about it (currently reading her Friends with Boys and Adventures of Superhero Girl comics) and I read The War at Ellsmere sometime last year (I believe I have an unflattering review of that lying around here somewhere but would rather not dig it up) so I decided that I should give this book a whirl as well.

Brain camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks

Summary: Neither Jenna nor Lucas are the apple of their parents' eyes and so when their parents get the chances to send their kids to Camp Fielding, an exclusive summer camp which seems to turn average kids into geniuses, they leap at the chance and deposit the protesting teens there. Neither of them can stand the camp, or each other, but quickly realize that the camp is more shady than it already seems and that some truly horrific events are going on behind the scenes.

The Good: I'm always amused at what settings horror writers will use next and I can see the logic in using a summer camp, some of them are pretty horrific on their own. The horror bits were well done, they came across as strange and scary and the strangeness made it even creepier without coming off as, pardon the pun, camp.

The Bad: The pacing seemed just a bit off here, everything flowed much too quickly, I ended up reading the whole book in just about half and hour because of it’s fast pace, so the story never had anytime to really sink in. Of course that might have been for the best, all of the adults are flat, one-dimensional characters (a common problem with children’s stories, you have to keep the adults from getting in the way of the plot so why not make them idiots?) and the romance that sprung up really felt unexpected to me. I should’ve expected romance given the kinds of characters and age group the story was aimed at but when categories, not the plot itself, explain the story better then you have a problem.

The Art: As I said earlier, I picked up this book because of Faith Erin Hick’s name on it so the art was as I expected. It was solid and worked well, the characters looked different, emoted, and the backgrounds were well drawn, the art was a good fit for the book.

I was a bit disappointed with this book overall, I was just expecting a bit more out of it overall. Oh well, it is a short book and it's much harder to great something really great and grand in a shorter space .