Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic

Mark Tatulli. Andrews McMeel, $13.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4494-3548-6
Tatulli, creator of the syndicated comics Heart of the City and Lio, jumps to Wimpy Kid–style illustrated fiction with the story of self-described “Gourmet of Gore” Desmond Pucket. Like a budding Ray Harryhausen, Desmond loves nothing more than designing monstrous special effects. When readers meet him, he has awakened his mother in the middle of the night, complaining of a stomachache: “A large red stain spreads across my belly... and a slimy, multi-eyed, many fanged creature breaks out of my stomach with a screech, its tentacles jiggling and blood spurting from the gaping hole!” (“Are those the new pajamas I just bought you?” his mother sighs in the accompanying cartoon.) Despite Desmond’s flair for the dramatic, his life is grounded in reality: he joins a series of clubs to try to avoid expulsion, as well as qualify for a sixth-grade class trip. Tatulli’s sometimes-gruesome caricatures have the feel of George Booth by way of Ralph Steadman, and while the story’s jokes don’t always hit the mark, readers will walk away with plenty of mischievous ammunition. Ages 7–12. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-4494-5035-9
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