Abigail is new to town. Her only friend is her invisible dog Claude. As in most cases, and I was on the receiving end of this often while growing up, new kids aren’t treated very well by other kids. Also, Abigail’s dad has lost the job he just got but claims to be a great electrician, so his attention is suddenly focused on finding employment. With Abigail’s birthday coming soon, things aren’t looking up for her. Until she meets a Yeti at the local park.
The all-ages miniseries (this is #1 of 4) by writer and artist Roger Landridge (Snarked!, Jim Henson’s The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, The Muppet Show Comic Book, Thor: The Mighty Avenger) is charming. As the story progressed, I found myself chuckling and relating to the father/daughter relationship. I don’t have a kid, but I was a kid (and am a kid now) and know that a loss of a job is a very difficult thing to deal with as an adult, and as a kid. When the father stares off into space with nothing but stress in his eyes, I laughed. I’ve been there. My dad was there. It’s something I think both kids and adults will relate to, and it’s nice to see it being dealt with through fiction. It seemed like stories of the ’80s and ’90s that had child leads always dealing with divorced couples, it only makes sense that now it should deal with unemployed parents. There is no mother in the story yet. I imagine that will come up later.
Abigail and the yeti (whom she gives the name Claude) quickly connect, and Abigail might be on her way to finding a new friend, but a couple of secret agent types are hot on Claude’s trail, and there may be a few other concerns that will either make Abigail either more or less popular. Everything is summed up nicely with an excellent final image of the father, Yeti, and Abigail on the back of a bus. (A little The Graduate call out for those in the know, perhaps?)
Claude the yeti has a sort of Totoro/Hobbes appeal with a little more attitude, and Abigail is a strong-willed young girl that I think kids will connect with.
The only part I didn’t really find as amusing as a reader were the secret agent types; Laurel and Hardy inspired to be sure, who I’m a fan of. The way in which the L&H humor was being used was unabashedly directed at kids, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Hopefully, their characters will deepen a little bit as the series progresses.
Parents, this is a good buy. It’s imaginative and shows potential to be really fun and actually about something. The art is expressive in all the right ways. The colors are vibrant, and the press release states that Abigail and Claude seek out Claude’s home. So, an adventure is in store! (Though with the maturity that it handles the father/daughter relationship with, I’d be happy if it was just the three of them in town doing their thing.)