Written and Drawn by Judd Winick
Published by Random House Kids

Reviewed by Marc Mason

Let me get this out of the way immediately: HILO offers as much genuine pleasure to read as any book being produced today. It is, simply, as good a graphic novel series for younger readers that you will find on your bookstore shelves.

And I felt that way before this third volume arrived.

So it came as no surprise to me that Judd Winick outdid himself and that volume three is even better than the first two. Here, he gets to engage in significant world-building as the cast goes through a portal and lands on another planet. Oshun turns out to be the home of Polly the sorceress from book two, and hers is a place of magic and of belligerent alligators in medieval armor. The cast must navigate the oddities of this planet in order to try and find a portal back to earth or they could be stranded forever.

My goodness, is it a LOT of fun!

And Winick is clearly having a blast with the whole thing. The art gets more dynamic. The colors get more vibrant. The characters get deeper and more interesting. Everything here is filled with the joy possessed by a creative talent at the height of his powers.

My only complaint is that I have to wait a year for the next one. HILO is so much fun that I’m chomping at the bit for volume four.


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