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Friday, April 5, 2013

Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian

So it was a pretty exciting evening, because I took my two oldest children to meet and listen to Jeremy Bastian at the Eastwood Schuler Books. Bastian is a Michigan artist and author whose graphic novel Cursed Pirate Girl is a frolicsome adventure that is certain to mesmerize readers of all ages.

Now if you are thinking; "Graphic novel? I would never read a kid's comic book";  please,  please, please do not leave the page! This is not a DC or Marvel superhero comic that men still living in their mother's basement horde and preserve. (If you fit that stereotype I apologize, but I said it in fun. My own husband has boxes of Superman comics he has collected since elementary school.)

Cursed Pirate Girl is totally unique and probably one of my favorite books that I have purchased this year for the library. The story revolves around an intrepid and boisterous orphan known only as the Cursed Pirate Girl (Bastian does not give her a name which only adds to her mystery).  With a sharp cutlass and a parrot that shadows her every move, the Cursed Pirate Girl grapples with  mortal peril while searching for her father on the Omerta Seas.

The story Bastian tells is a homage to fairy tales and classic adventure stories like Alice in Wonderland and In Search of the Castaways. One of Bastian's favorite books as a child was The Adventures & Brave Deeds of the Ship's Cat on the Spanish Maine by Richard Adams and illustrated by Alan Alldridge. Obviously Bastian has an affinity for pirates and intricately detailed illustrations.

In addition to the humorous text, Bastian tells the story of the Cursed Pirate Girl with artwork that is both whimsical and stunningly beautiful. The amount of detail that he packs into each picture is astounding and, therefore, each reading offers something new to discover. 

What is truly mind boggling, though, is that Bastian does all of his illustration with a brush and to scale. Most comic book illustrators draw the pictures large and then the image is shrunken to the size of the comic book. Bastian paints his illustrations at the same size that they will be printed.
How this man is not blind I do not know, but one thing is certain: He is an amazing talent and I cannot wait for Cursed Pirate Girl Volume 2.

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