Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Troop 142: A Graphic Novel by Mike Dawson (2011)

My lovely friend John is storing a couple boxes of graphic novels and other assorted books at our house for an indefinite period of time, and rather than just leaving them sadly alone in a closet, I've put them out on a couple of shelves and I'm planning to read my way through most of them. Lucky for me, John and I have similar taste in books, but he also buys a lot more graphic novels than I do and knows about way more cool authors.

The first random book from the John pile is Troop 142: A Graphic Novel by Mike Dawson (2011). This comic tells the story of one week with the Boy Scouts at Pinewood Forest Camp, New Jersey in the summer of 1995, complete with badge earning, campfire singing, pranks, drugs, (thinking/talking about) sex, and lots and lots of horseplay.

I've never been a boy, a Boy Scout, or attended any kind summer camp, but the uncomfortableness of adolescence and the weirdness of being stuck with a group of your peers is relatively universal. The point of view of the book changes, but we are often seeing things through the eyes of one of the chaperones, a "new to camp" dad of two of the boys. Moving from the teenage to the adult perspective keeps the story from getting too bogged down in either camp (ha!) and the cartoony drawings have an unexpected amount of depth and heart.

This one was a good first step into the wonderful world of some of John's books!

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