I don’t really know much about this book going into it, other than it’s mini-series aimed towards kids — a category that Image hasn’t really tapped into much besides one or two other titles. Can this be a hit for them? Is it good?
Penny Dora and the Wishing Box #1 (Image Comics)
It’s Christmas Eve and Penny gets a knock on her door along with a mysterious present left on her doorstep. The following day on Christmas, she and her mom open it up and find a strange, old looking box in it. Her mom thinks it’s trash and joke since from her “husband”, but Penny thinks there is something much more to it. Oh, how right she is…
I see that her parents taught her it’s a good idea to answer the door when they are not around. And to let her cat play with glass.
Penny Dora and the Wishing Box #1 was an interesting read to say the least. There’s lots of narration from the all-seeing/knowing narrator and not as much dialogue or character exploration (there’s some to give you an idea of who they are, but not all that much). As such, the comic really reminds me more of a children’s picture book — the kind that parents could read to their kids and then show them the pictures after they finish a page. If that’s the kind of feel and tone the comic is going for, then it succeeds. Even if its not going for that, the book is still a decent comic for kids.
As I said before, the narrative doesn’t go into much detail about Penny or her mom, but it does give you just enough to understand what they are like and what their situation is. Though I will applaud writer Michael Stock for portraying Penny as smart enough to realize there is something wrong with the whole box situation after it happens. While kids can indeed be naive, it’s nice to show Penny being rather cautious and naturally suspicious of the mystery box. We don’t get to see a whole lot of magic or even much of what exactly the “wishing box” can do here, but it does leave enough of an impression to pique your curiosity. There isn’t much of a hook for the ending like some of the other kids’ books I’ve seen, though it is amusing.
It also appears that Cookie Monster has an extra home in this neighborhood.
The artwork by Sina Grace is solid just like the writing. There are some minor problems with foreshortening with Dora (look at the scene where she opens the door at the start; she’s almost adult size) and how faces are depicted can be sketchy at points but the comic is still good for the most part with how the characters are drawn. The layouts are fine, the coloring is decent, and the bits of visual humor are nice. Like I said earlier, we didn’t get to see a lot of magic this time around with the wishing box, so there wasn’t anything that really visually jumped out like you would expect from the cover. As such, the art didn’t really get to stretch itself much this issue. Maybe next issue.
Considering how she is bending over slightly, just exactly how old or tall is Penny?
Is It Good?
Penny Dora and the Wishing Box #1 is not a bad start overall to this mini-series. It has some problems, but it also has some impressive qualities and a story with plenty of potential. It’s also definitely pretty good comic for young kids and parents looking for a comic they can share together.