Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Owly Referendum

Anyone who has read Owly should admit that Andy Runton, the creator of Owly and his writer/penciller, is a skilled comic storyteller. What he accomplishes without any dialogue is nothing short of amazing. The amount of detail he gets across just by the ovements and reactions of his characters is very, very impressive.

Therefore, if I ever was asked by a parent for a good comic for their kids, I would recommend Owly in an instant. Granted, the fact that it is in black and white does not exactly do wonders for its ability to be marketed to young readers. But on a strict content level, I would recommend it right away.

However, a day after discussing how I felt Electic Girl had an "all-ages" appeal to it, I really have to question whether the same is true for Owly.

I mean, look at the book. An anthropomorphic owl rescues and takes care of a worm, then travels with the worm to the worm's parents, and then feels sad that he is now going to lose his friend. The next story finds the same owl pulling the same basic thing with a pair of hummingbirds (Owly is apparantly VERY needy).

So, I ask you, is Owly all ages, or is it really designed more for children than for "all ages?"

I guess this also could be rephrased as thus....do YOU like reading Owly?

5 Comments:

Blogger Brad Curran said...

You just wrote this to draw out Tek, didn't you, Cronin?

1/23/2005 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Loren said...

I won the first Owly mini-comic in a recent online contest, and I loved it. Today at the comic shop, I ordered the next Owly GN.

The little mini-comic had Andy Runton's contact info at the back, and I was surprised to learn that he lives only about 5 miles from my family's house. He's just one street over from my brother's business partner, and he goes to my comic shop. And presumably, "Owly" is set in Georgia, too.

I do think that Owly is chiefly a children's title. The art is a treat for adults, but the same is true of other children's book artists. "Where the Wild Things Are" looks great, but it's still a kids' book.

1/23/2005 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I can safely say I've little to no interest in "Owly." I read good children's literature throughout the day. It's my job. Unless it's great, great, GREAT, I'm not going to read it when I'm at home.

1/24/2005 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Brad,

It honors me for someone to think that I am well-known enough to be specifically called out. ;)

As for Owly,

Yeah, I adored Owly. Maybe I'm a three year old at heart, but I had tears in my eyes reading that book. I just got really into it, and I really FELT it, ya know?

It wasn't just a timing thing, either, like some books have been for me (Waterwise for example didn't read nearly as strongly the second time around)...Owly always brings emotions up in me every time I read it.

Is OWLY for everybody? No. But, I would consider it all-ages due to the fact that it's obviously a great book for young children and I know ppl much older have enjoyed it thoroughly too (myself, Shawn Hoke, for example).

I may have the mentality of a little kid (hey...I'm 17...i'm not quite qualified to be jaded yet, right?), but i fucking loved Owly. Every panel of it. And I reccommend it to everybody because if it can bring someone half the joy it brought me...as goddamn hokey as this sounds, that'll bring me joy too.

1/24/2005 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Totally. I bought it 'cause Tynne liked it, and loved,loved,loved it. One of my three or four favorite comics from last year.

I can't see why an adult comic nerd, IE anyone who appreciates the skilled application of craft, wouldn't really like it.

Is it a children's book? Sure.

Are the simple themes of lonliness, and friendship rendered effetively enough that the book can hold emotional ressonance for, say, me?

Absolutely.

1/24/2005 10:56:00 PM  

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