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Cover image for Flight explorer. Volume one
Flight explorer. Volume one

Publication Information:
New York : Villard Books, 2008.
Physical Description:
111 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 26 cm.
Series title(s):
General Note:
"A Villard Books Books trade paperback."
Copper mushroom crossing / Kazu Kibuishi -- Egyptian cat : Perfect cat / Johane Matte -- Jellaby : First snow / Kean Soo -- Big mouth / Phil Craven -- Missle Mouse : The guardian prophecy / Jake Parker -- Fish n Chips : All in a day's work / Steve Hamaker -- Zita the spacegirl : If wishes were socks / Ben Hatke -- Wooden rivers : Rain slickers / Rad Sechrist -- Snow cap : 2nd verse / Matthew Armstrong.
An anthology of short stories, by a variety of the international artists. Includes the full-color work of top animators for video games, DreamWorks, emerging Web cartoonists, and established comic book and graphic novel creators.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning MG 2.2 0.5.


Call Number

On Order



The first volume in a new series presents an anthology of comics and graphic short stories that revolve around the theme of flight, including works by noted comic book and graphic novel creators, top animators working at Pixar and other major studios, and new Web cartoonists, including Kean Soo and Kazu Kibuishi.

Author Notes

Kazu Kibuishi was 24 years old and working full-time in the animation industry when he began developing the idea of doing Flight . He began contacting his friends in the animation, comics, and graphic novel world to see if they would want to join the project. He now works from his home studio in Pasadena, California, creating and promoting Flight and his popular young adult comic Daisy Kutter , which was nominated as an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults--the only graphic novel on the list in 2005.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-In this companion book to the "Flight" series for older readers, the editor succeeds in putting together a remarkable collection that will appeal to a younger audience. Kean Soo's "Jellaby," for example, shows the humorous and contemplative moments between a girl and a friendly monster as they experience their first snowfall together. More comedic is Kibuishi's story about crossing a ravine of mushrooms and Johane Matte's Egyptian cat whose haughtiness dissolves into grossly indulgent self-pity. Perhaps most rousing is Jake Parker's "Missile Mouse," an action-packed space drama complete with a prophecy, explosions, and lessons about responsibility and trust. While there is no underlying theme to the anthology, every story has a layout that promotes an acute sense of pacing and showcases the crisp, defined, full-color art indicative of some of the creators' animation backgrounds. Flight Explorer is an excellent introduction to graphic novels as it shows that you're never too young to laugh, think, and take part in some visual feasting.-Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The multi-volume Flight anthology series has introduced a group of young cartoonists influenced more by animation than by American comics; this work is its new sibling, featuring 10 Flight artists writing and drawing short, whimsical stories aimed at middle-graders. Kibuishi leads it off with the two strongest stories: a cheerfully surreal episode of his own boy-and-his-dog series, Copper, in which the heroes traverse a chasm by jumping on giant mushrooms that turn out to be the heads of threatening creatures, and Johane Matte's "Perfect Cat," a little fable written and drawn in the style of mod '60s animation, about a grouchy alley cat in ancient Egypt who learns that feline perfection has its downside. The rest are more hit-and-miss: Kean Soo's "First Snow," an episode of his girl-and-her-monster series, Jellaby, is nearly plotless, and Jake Parker's "Missile Mouse: The Guardian Prophecy" is pro forma sci-fi. Some pieces start with a funny premise (Ben Hatke's "If Wishes Were Socks" concerns a girl, her robot and a magical wishing sock), but then spin their wheels. The book's full-color art is consistently stylish--Matthew Armstrong's "Snow Cap" stands out visually--but readers may find themselves wishing for better developed tales. Ages 8-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

A welcome addition to the still-thin ranks of graphic fiction for younger children, this collection offers ten entertaining new tales from as many authors. The plots range from a child's snowy romp with a purple monster (Kean Soo's "Jellaby--First Snow") and the discomfiting results of having idle wishes come true (Ben Hatke's "Zita the Spacegirl--Wishing Socks"), to Jake Parker's more conventional battle between a snarky hero mouse and a huge commando droid in "Missile Mouse--The Guardian Prophecy." Texts are terse or, in several cases, nonexistent, and the colorful, crisply reproduced art has a consistent look throughout; even less able readers should have no trouble following the action and appreciating the humor. Like Kibuishi's Flight series for adults, this is likely to "fly" off library shelves--and also set up a clamor both for future volumes and for the full-length ones in which many of these characters already star. (Graphic short stories. 7-10) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

A few years ago, Image Comics and later Villard published a series of anthologies for adults entitled Flight, which showcased active cartoonists' brief works. Flight Explorer does much the same thing, although the stories collected here are suitable for a young audience. Among the artists and writers represented in this first volume are Kean Soo, animator Rad Sechrist, Joahane Matte, Bone colorist Steve Hamaker, and video-game and children's-book illustrator Matthew S. Armstrong. Each of the 10 stories in this launch volume is strong, engaging, and laced with humor. Editor Kibuishi's Copper follows the adventure of a smart dog that unwillingly accompanies its master across a field of giant mushrooms and literally falls into their hands, and Hamaker's Fish n' Chips, All in a Day's Work uses a goldfish in a bowl as a key ingredient in tale mixing space operetta and superheroics. The variety of artistic styles, subject matter, and storytelling techniques combine to make this an intelligent mix, with high appeal to beginning graphic-novel aficionados.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2008 Booklist