Rob Harrell’s middle-grade graphic novel puts the reader in the English countryside, circa 1867. Great scary monsters help the tourist trade in every city… except for Stoker-On-Avon. Poor Rayburn just doesn’t ‘feel scary.’ No get-up and go. No skills in the monster department. No confidence at all. Dr. Charles Wilkie, Man of Science, is hired by the town elders to fix the problem. He and his sidekick, Timothy the Newsboy, take a road trip with big Ray to help him get his groove back. But leaving his town unguarded causes dire consequences…
I loved the flipped-script premise, the zany artwork, and the sharp dialogue. Each character is an amusing take off of a stereotype: the fearless dragon, the orphan newsboy, and the nutty professor. They even have Cockney accents!
The only catch was that I did not like the ending too much. While the plan organized to save the day was inventive and fun, the follow-through was a bit quick and anticlimactic. The story is currently in production with Paramount films, so we shall see if there are any changes from the original narrative.
A good choice for those young dragon lovers. Big cartoony illustrations and awesome monster fighting.