I’ll work my way backwards. Humanoids is an internationally acclaimed publisher of some pretty high-minded, big-idea properties. Recently, they’ve been expanding into other territories beyond their sci-fi genre level stories. Their “Life Drawn” imprint deals with more real and grounded stories, the “H1” imprint explores their superhero stories, and now “BiG” explores the all-ages stories. And so far, from everything I’ve read, Humanoids hasn’t skipped a beat. This includes Bigby Bear.
Every page in Bigby Bear is dedicated to a new three- to six-panel story, and every story in some way includes a clever twist to keep the young (or young at heart) guessing and hopefully learning. Some bring a chuckle, others bring a thoughtful nod of the head, but whatever sort of reaction they provoke, it is always about training the lateral thought process - presenting an unexpected answer, response, or comparison. I’d 100% let a child read this book, and I’d be right there to talk to them about what’s happening in each story.
Bigby isn’t alone. He has some friends, like a rabbit, a bird, a mouse, etc. that all join him on these short adventures, as Bigby sculpts, paints, manipulates his environment, talks about the idiosyncrasies of nature, stays one step ahead of everyone around him, and, at one point, even stumps the sun. Some of these jokes are visual, some are word play, some are mathematical in nature (dealing with space and angles), and some are slapstick; it’s enough to keep a child’s mind constantly enraptured. Bigby Bear is a perfect balancing act between whimsical and thoughtful.
I love Coudray’s art style. It’s simple and elegant. When Bigby gets annoyed and his eyes go weird, I laugh. I think my biggest laugh came when Bigby came across some mushrooms and wondered if they were poisonous, and also when he pondered on how aliens from the moon might look.
I would say this is another big success from an ever-expanding Humanoids and for creator Philippe Coudray.
Creative Team: Philippe Coudray (story, art), Miceal Ogriefa (translator), Fabrice Sapolsky (US edition editors), Amanda Lucido (assistant editor), Vincent Henry (original editions editor), Jerry Frissen (senior art director), Fabrice Giger (publisher)
Publisher: BiG (Humanoids)
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