Quirk Books Combines Comics and Game Books in Two New Titles
Coming out the first week in September are two new titles that will give kids something new to do while reading. These “comic books you can play” add game mechanics and pick-your-own-path structures to illustrated stories. Quirk Books is releasing these “graphic novels that play like a game” September 4, launching two middle-grade series translated from the French as “Comic Quests”.
Hocus & Pocus: The Legend of Grimm’s Woods, written by Manuro and illustrated by Gorobei, is inspired by fairy tales. There are witches in gingerbread houses, children lost in the woods, and creature helpers.
The reader chooses one of two siblings, Hocus or Pocus. They also get to pick which magical pet will accompany them. Most panels have a choice that gives a number of a new panel to navigate to, or there are numbers in the art to indicate what’s done next. Sometimes there are mazes or other puzzles. The cute, cartoony art is particularly welcoming.
The book comes with a number of Adventure Tracker sheets to keep track of inventory items collected along the way and stars received, which helps the reader “win” at the end.
Knights Club: The Bands of Bravery, written by Shulky and illustrated by Waltch, requires the reader to pick one of three brothers with different combinations of strength, ability, and intelligence. The art style is closer to caricature in this book.
Since this one is set in a kingdom where the character is trying to become a knight, it feels much more like a role-playing game. The riddles and the need to collect weapons contribute to that aspect.
Sequels, Hocus & Pocus: The Search for the Missing Dwarves and Knights Club: The Message of Destiny, are scheduled for January 2019.
Johanna Draper Carlson has been reviewing comics for over 20 years. She manages ComicsWorthReading.com, the longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, graphic novels, and manga. She has an MA in popular culture, studying online fandom, and was previously, among many other things, webmaster for DC Comics. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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