cover image CowPiggy (Shelley Frankenstein #1)

CowPiggy (Shelley Frankenstein #1)

Colleen Madden. Top Shelf, $14.99 paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-60309-522-8

As a descendant of the infamous Frankenstein family, young Shelley feels compelled to follow in her ancestors’ mad scientist footsteps. Accompanied by her younger brother Iggy, she aims to craft a creature frightening enough to terrorize their classmates. But the siblings’ lifeless homemade monsters—comprising an assortment of plush toys—turn out more cuddly than scary. With countless experiments foiled, the duo is ready to give up, until their dog, Viktor, leads them to the Frankenstein family graveyard. It’s there, Shelley realizes, that Viktor has been burying household odds and ends, such as their mother’s beloved tea set. What’s more, all of these objects have inexplicably come to life. Shelley seizes the opportunity to infuse her latest creation, CowPiggy, with a true spark of terror, but when CowPiggy begins running amok through town, Shelley fears that her initially harmless experiments might be getting out of hand. Textured hues set against simple backdrops highlight Shelley’s ghoulish creations while conveying an appropriately eerie atmosphere without tipping into too-scary territory. In this delightfully creepy graphic novel series opener, Madden (A Christmas Too Big) strikes an easy balance between charm and chills. Ages 9–12. (Aug.)