This week, in honor of World Space Week, we’ve got reviews featuring space, in all it’s many forms. Today, I’m reviewing a graphic novel featuring visitors from another world.
Title: Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
Series: Hilo #1
Author/Illustrator: Judd Winick
Color by: Guy Major
Pages: 192 pages
Publisher/Date: Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, c2015.
“AAAAH! Is that a greeting? I like it! AAAAH! Where am I?”
“Never heard of it. Who are you?”
“Um … I’m D.J.”
“What’s this green stuff, D.J.?”
“It smells outstanding!”
“Who are you?”
“I don’t remember. That could be a problem. My memory is a busted book.”
“Yep. Missing a lotta pages. Gaps! Holes! For example, how did I get here?”
“Are you kidding? It was insane! You fell from the sky!” (21-22)
A giant meteor falls from the sky and in its wake D.J. meets Hilo, whose suffering from amnesia. Hilo has some peculiar qualities that lead D.J. to believe he’s not from around here. Another surprise visitor is D.J.’s old neighbor Gina, who has just moved back with her family after being gone for three years. D.J. isn’t really good at anything, not like his siblings with their many hobbies and talents, so teaching Hilo things about Earth, like you can’t go around eating grass and wearing only underwear is not something he’s looking forward to doing. D.J.’s job is going to get even harder though when he, Hilo, and Gina realize that Hilo might not be the only thing falling from the sky.
This fast paced and brightly colored graphic novel will catch reader’s interest as soon as they open its pages. It starts with Hilo and D.J. running away from a giant robot, and it doesn’t stop there. Hilo has a sporadic naivety, with flashbacks of his past and absorbed information from D.J. filling in some of the blanks. While he doesn’t initially know what grass and clothes are, he somehow knows how to use a spoon properly and how to create a distraction. There’s so much unexplained about Hilo though that you’re willing to look the other way to see what crazy thing he’s going to do next. Some of the nonstop movement and action is nicely depict, primarily the fight sequences, but others look like they are stills with the hair streaming behind Gina the only clue they are moving. Winick’s posing and running gags really show the Looney Tunes influence the author mentions in his back cover biography. It’s certainly an enjoyable option for younger sci-fi fans who aren’t ready for the scarier world domination movies.