Akiko: The Menace of Alia Rellapor - Mark Crilley

These three trade paperback comics chronicle the adventures of Akiko, an earth girl, who travels to the planet Smoo, where she leads an attempt to rescue the planet\'s prince from the mysterious Alia Rellapor. Her companions consist of a peg-legged space pirate, his Swiss-army-knife of a robot, a pathetic bookworm, and a floating smiley face. The group encounters even sillier beings and undergoes a series of enjoyable, frightful, and didactic events. There is certainly a lot to enjoy in the tale. The artwork is moving with scratchy images, bold use of grays, epic scenery, and children reminiscent of a certain little orphan. Crilley does a fine job pacing the story and drawing the reader in and onward. I am annoyed with the redundancy of the narration that seems designed to be read to children too young to appreciate the layout of the images. Overall, it is a fine saga for kids.