THE PIRATES OF PANGAEA: BOOK 1

PrintE-mail Written by P.M. Buchan

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE PIRATES OF PANGAEA: BOOK 1 / AUTHOR: DANIEL HARTWELL / ARTIST: NEILL CAMERON / PUBLISHER: DAVID FICKLING BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 5TH

"I think I'll call her Cornflower."

The Pirates of Pangaea is absolutely the best comic strip being published for children in the UK, possibly the world. Set in the year 1717, this fantastic strip follows Cameron's Law, which states that by adding a Thing That Is Awesome (pirates, in this case) to another Thing That Is Awesome (dinosaurs), the result is something that is Totally Awesome. By combining dinosaurs and pirates in a historical setting, Hartwell and Cameron have created a world where pirate ships travel through deadly landscapes strapped to the back of dinosaurs, which works like a dream.

Not only is the central concept brilliantly simple and easy for children to understand, the protagonist is a 12-year-old girl called Sophie. This is Pirates of the Caribbean meets Jurassic Park, rewritten for British schoolchildren, with a kick-ass female main character. Comics literally don't get any better than this.

The art is top-notch throughout, with gorgeous flowing linework, rich and evocative colours, and a cast of brilliantly realised characters and creatures. The story is top-notch, following a couple of essentially orphaned children as they maneuver their way through a world ruled by cutthroats and villains. There isn't a dull moment in this collection.

I'm not alone in loving Pirates of Pangaea. I read this in bed over four nights with my 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter and they couldn't get enough of it. Every night since they've been waving around pirate swords and telescopes, diving off the trampoline "into the sea of green" (which is where the land-sharks live). If that hasn't sunk in, my daughter who isn't even up to my waist yet now has a kick-ass role model who wears bonnets and delicate dresses whilst riding a Tyrannosaurus Rex. No artist could give me a greater gift!
 

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