Poppie's Adventures: Serpents in Paradise
by Julie Yeh & Jack Hsu
Way Out Comics, $6.95
Young Poppie Field decides to take time out from college and falls into a job as a travel writer. On assignment to Hawaii, Poppie has visions of relaxing on the beach during the day and dining at swanky resturants by night. But when she meets up with her photographer, James "Ham" Hamamura, she ends up on an adventure holiday instead, and the two of them stumble into a secret plot by a serpent cult to introduce snakes into the island's ecology.
While clearly aimed at a young audience, this Xeric-winning comic has a lot to recommend it to all ages. Both Poppie and Ham are fun and engaging characters, though they are quite different and that leads to some friction along the way. And there's enough peril that of course they end up working together. Hsu's art is appropriately cartoony but not too much so, and he has a good sense of pacing and storytelling. If there are any faults here it's that once or twice Yeh has her characters go into lecture mode to explain background necessary to the plot; but after a couple of panels that passes and the plot gets back underway.
Poppie's Adventures is recommended for kids who are ready to move past Scooby Doo and are looking for a story in the Nancy Drew mode, or for anyone of any age who enjoys a lighthearted mystery/adventure.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)