Mortensen’s Escapades: The Mysterious Manuscript

Lars Jakobsen. Lerner/Graphic Universe, $6.95 trade paper (48p) ISBN 978-0-8225-9409-3
In this Danish comics import, time traveler Mortensen is shown a book from 1512 that portrays an airplane, so he sets out to find out how the anachronism happened. Although short in page count, each page has 8–10 panels, making for a full read as Mortensen goes back to ancient Scotland, where he quickly loses his “time gun” and winds up a captive. The adventures, many of them his own fault, are amusing, but the translated Danish dialogue falls flat, sticking to simple explanation. The whole thing has the demented logic of many time travel tales, where it all works out if you don’t think about it too hard. Jakobsen takes the basic Hergé style of children’s comics and adds a more vigorous line, while keeping to simple character designs: Mortensen’s appearance—dot eyes, the suggestion of a nose tip, and a small line for a mouth—is surprisingly readable and approachable. Disturbingly, the only female character is a mute woman tagged as a witch who helps Mortensen solve the mystery. Fans of Doctor Who who want to enlist their children in the cult of wacky time traveling adventures can start them off with this series. A second volume, The Santa Fe Jail, is also available. Ages 9–14. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/04/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Genre: Children's
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 48 pages - 978-1-4677-0044-3
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-0-7613-7883-9
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