Calamity Jack by Shannon, Dean & Nathan Hale

Calamity Jack
written by Shannon & Dean Hale
illustrated by Nathan Hale
Bloomsbury, 2010

An exuberant sequel to the excellent Rapunzel’s Revenge, a steampunk-Brothers Grimm mashup aimed at children, with a strong heroine and some subtle political metaphors.

The previous story was a Western focused on well-written heroine Rapunzel, the sequel is narrated by Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and tells of his attempts to win redemption by defeating the (literal) capitalist giants and marauding ant people who are ruining his home city.

There’s a hat-obsessed pixie, and loathsome henchmen who employ colourful yet meaningless Dickensian slang (to much mockery from our heroes), and although the artwork isn’t quite up to the cinematic physical hijinks of the script, it’s an extremely good-natured and enjoyable story.

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