A little bit of Nancy Drew, a little bit of Indiana Jones and a touch of superheroics but totally original, Alison Dare is a collaboration of two amazing talents writer J Torres and artist J Bone. Alison is a pretty normal kid in a world of adventure and mystery. The stand out thing in these stories is the great sense of humour, as Alison and her friends confront all sorts of situations, from a magical genie in the dessert to dealing with Alison's parents. Torres is a master of the all ages comic, he knows how to make a comic accessible to everyone and still write a rollicking, smart story. The stories fly along at a great pace, adding to the sense of adventure and fun. The books are actually collections of stories of various lengths, which makes for an easy read, great for the reluctant reader. I think these books appeal to both boys and girls, anyone can relate to Alison and her friends and the rollicking adventures will surely appeal to boys.
J Bone's art is perfect for this type of story. Energetic and classical he creates a believable cartoon world here, rich with just enough detail. J's work is reminiscent of animation and mid century illustration. I'm not sure of J's influences but I know he worked in animation and I think what shines in his work is wonderful characters and a kinetic energy.
The books are actually collections of stories of various lengths, which makes for an easy read, great for the reluctant reader. I think these books appeal to both boys and girls, anyone can relate to Alison and her friends and the rollicking adventures will surely appeal to boys. I think these books would sit well on a shelf next to Tintin, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Bone.
There are two Alison Dare books out now, published by Tundra Alison Dare; Little Miss Adventure and Alison Dare; Heart of the Maiden.
I discovered the first book book at a book signing at Strange Adventures comic book store in Halifax about ten years ago. These kinds of events are so important, by meeting the creators I got a great appreciation for this type of story and how much they care about these books. It was a huge inspiration to me and my own work.
I asked J Torres for his thoughts on these books and their continuing appeal, J said "Some of these Alison Dare stories are almost ten years old. I'm happily surprised that they continue to be read and enjoyed, and pick up new readers. But will somebody make a movie for us already? (I'm kidding!) (No, I'm not.)"
And I especially love what he had to say about all ages comics "I think we're living in a kind of golden age of younger reader and young adult comic books and graphic novels right now. At least in terms of how much great material is out there, and the support and enthusiasm for those stories keeps growing. Hopefully, we'll look back in ten years time and be able to say, "Yep, that's when we turned a corner and really reached the masses!" "