cover image Pablo & Jane and the Hot Air Contraption

Pablo & Jane and the Hot Air Contraption

José Domingo. Nobrow/Flying Eye (Consortium, dist.), $19.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-909263-36-9

Comics creator Domingo (Adventures of a Japanese Businessman) debuts with a hybrid graphic novel/search-and-find book that sees two siblings whisked to a monster-filled alternate version of our world. Joined by the mouse inventor of the Hot Air Contraption that brought them there, Pablo and Jane must find the missing parts to the machine (stolen by the nefarious Dr. Felinibus) as they travel through Norwegian woods full of man-eating trolls, a Moscow where living matryoshka dolls open to reveal jagged teeth, and Muerto Mexico, where “every day is the day of the dead!” The comics sequences that bookend the tale establish a feisty rapport between the siblings, while the details of the Monster Dimension (such as the slavering koalas stalking the ’orrible Outback) are ghoulishly entertaining. The ending suggests that Pablo and Jane’s misadventures are just beginning—unlucky for them, but lucky for readers. Ages 5–7. (Oct.)