cover image Bagel’s Lucky Hat

Bagel’s Lucky Hat

Hector Mumbly, . . Chronicle, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-4875-6

The underground comic aesthetic—at least the G-rated version—comes through in full force in the children’s debut by acclaimed Canadian graphic novelist Dave Cooper. Bagel the dog, clearly a few biscuits short in the brains department, ropes his sensible feline friend Becky into helping him figure out how his beloved ten-gallon hat went missing. But Becky quickly loses patience as Bagel retraces his steps from a most improbable day, which includes laughing fishes, a jetpack-powered robot suit and a visit to a planet named Zorgonogon 14. “Do you expect me to believe all that?” scolds Becky—which, of course, precedes proof that it’s absolutely true. The pseudonymous Mumbly’s retro-flavored compositions are packed with bug-eyed characters, amiable grotesqueries and manic detail; the attention just to surfaces shows his highly wrought style and his dexterity. The visual gags, however, can be somewhat blunted by the muted palette, which gives some pictures a curiously muddied appearance. Still, this book will be right up the alley of any kid who likes The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy or similar irreverence in any media. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)