I had seen Owly out of the corner of my eye in passing but it had never occurred to me to pick it up. It surprised me, therefore, when my boyfriend hauled out the second Owly graphic novel and told me that he thought I would like it. “I flipped through it,” he said, “and it reminds me of you.”
I picked it up during a commercial break and couldn’t put it down. Every few minutes, I’d grab my boyfriend’s arm. “Owly’s upset! I can’t stand it! Look! Look!” I’d walk him through key panels while he nodded and pretended that I wasn’t acting like a loon.
Just a Little Blue is author Andy Runton’s second offering in the series. It tells the story of Owly – a sweet natured owl – and his quest to build a birdhouse for a family of bluebirds. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy and sometimes it requires sacrifice. It’s a lesson the book tells simply and beautifully.
The illustration style is fluid and expressive and Runton’s skill ranks with the likes of Jeff Smith and Terry Moore. The third volume in the series, Flying Lessons won an Eisner award. Though exclamation and question marks are occasionally used, the book has little text and relies almost exclusively on expression, gesture, and posture, to convey thought and intent. I’m always skeptical when a comic or graphic novel goes this route and it’s refreshing to see a book which caries it off so perfectly.
Just a Little Blue was an enchanting and heartwarming little book. Though it’s targeted at a youth/children market it should appeal to anyone who likes a well told story, solid artwork, and a health dose of “cute” (and I mean cute in the best possible way).
Cross posted from my journal, sorry to anyone who saw twice.