Bea Wolf

3 Apr 2023

Bea Wolf

Your leader sparkles with power and also with sparkles

I don’t often pre-order things, but I pre-ordered Bea Wolf as soon as I got wind of it. I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint. It’s a graphic novel retelling of the Old English epic poem Beowulf, with words by Zach Weinersmith (of the decidedly not-for-kids SMBC), and pictures by French artist Boulet. The Danes and Geats are replaced by five-summered kids wielding foam-hilted swords against fun-hating neighbour Mr Grindle. It’s permeated with a sense of fun and innocent naughtiness, epic from a knee-high point of view, and I was grinning from beginning to end.

The language echoes the spirit and some of the form of the original — poetic rather than prosaic — but is still fresh and accessible enough to keep a 7- and 10-year old engaged. The black-and-white art has an eye-catching style full of character, depth and weight. Most importantly, the story shines through. It will definitely be a regular fixture in our bed-time rotation (a place of high honour), and I’m crossing my finger that Weinersmith & Boulet are already working on the remaining two volumes.

Mr. Grindle

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