Wylder Wallace is having the time of his life at ComicFest in Toronto. There are comics and people dressed in costume everywhere, and even onion rings! The only downside is the surly girl that he met at the food court. He really didn’t mean to spill salad dressing on her jeans, or to grab at the comic she was reading, but it was the new Flynn Goster comic! The one nobody has! And it looks so cool! Flynn Goster is so great!
Addy is really not impressed b the klutz who sat at her table and spilled salad dressing on her, but she has more important things to do than talk to some boy. She’s at ComicFest to help her uncle Vim, the creator of the fabulous steampunk Flynn Goster adventure comic. This is his last chance to prove that he can be a successful artist, and he really needs to sell out of his new comic, Flynn Goster and the Gold Rush Express. Unfortunately, the boxes got held up and the fancy train display isn’t working! Addy ducks into the washroom to try to get her pants clean, but when she tries to leave, she comes face to familiar face with another girl–Nelly Day, the former thief and newly adopted niece of Isadora Fortuna, balloonist and lady adventurer, and a character that her Uncle Vim based on her. But this isn’t a cosplayer, and they aren’t in the Toronto Convention Center anymore–they’re on a moving train, in the middle of the comic!
When Wylder follows her in, the story goes completely wrong, and it’s up to Addy, Wylder, and Addy’s pet rat Catnip to fix the story and change Flynn back to a hero from a zero and defeat the villainous Professor Aldous K. Lickpenny, not to mention saving Uncle Vim’s bacon from his angry investors!
This was another of my treasures from the OLA Super Conference, and one that I managed to get signed. Richard Scrimger wrote instructions to Read, Enjoy, and Praise Highly (top left), so I’m going to obey. It’s an uncorrected proof, but other than improving the back blurb there’s not another thing I can see that it needs. This book is just plain fun, a rollicking adventure with lively characters and I kind of want to be Isadora Fortuna. It’s strange and silly in the best way, something so ridiculous and over-the-top that you just suspend your disbelief and go along for the wild ride. Adventurers, lady ballonists, mad scientists, robots, alligators, cyborgs, train hijacking, and even a little romance if you really have to (but not too much, because nobody likes mushy stuff)…There’s something for everyone.
I’ll start by saying that either Scrimger, Jocelyn, or both have definitely attended FanExpo before, because ComicFest and the Toronto Convention Center are very thinly veiled versions of FanExpo and the Metro Toronto Convention Center. As someone who’s been both to the event and to the building multiple times, it was fun seeing a version of it that didn’t involve me standing in line. Vim and Addy and Wylder are all characters I recognize, or at least their grown-up versions, so as someone else who’s worked the show it was very interesting. Fandom has been interested in steampunk for the last few year, so the streampunk adventure hero Flynn Goster and his world would fit right in.
The idea of falling into a book has been done before (Hello, Neverending Story), but falling into a comic book is interesting, especially when you include the pages they fall into. Pages from the Flynn Goster comic are scattered through the book, and while it’s not a comic book itself you do have to read the illustrations to follow the story. Claudia Davila’s illustrations are adorably whimsical, and perfect for a children’s steampunk adventure story, with modern-kids thrust into the middle of the story. Reading them makes me want a full coloured graphic novel version of the story.
This madcap adventure is a fun, fast read that you’ll devour with a laugh and a perfectly-timed quip, just like the famous adventurer, Flynn Goster!