Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

While perusing the many graphic novels available in our children’s collection, I happened upon a nice surprise.  Called Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, it is a collection of seven short stories all centered around the theme of a box and the various mysteries that lie therein. Some boxes contain mysterious dolls of wax, some can take you into outer space, and some can lead you to those you’ve loved and lost.  Each is told and drawn by a different author, ranging from funny and cute to serious and even sad. The drawing styles are as different as the stories they convey, but all made for a good read.

My particular favorite was Whatzit, written by Johane Matte, a contributor to the Flight series as well as a storyboard artist for the Dreamworks studio. Whatzit tells the tale of a young fellow responsible for shipping a replica of our solar system to a special exhibition. There’s a box for every item in the universe, right down to every creature on every planet. However, there’s one box with a question mark.  Now, curiosity being the rule rather than the exception, you can guess something’s going to go wrong, and it has something to do with that box. It’s a funny little story, the best of the bunch I would say.

The book itself is small by graphic novel standards, less than 130 pages, so the stories have to really jump in to get the ball rolling. I easily finished it in one sitting, but the stories contained here could easily be expanded into full length graphic novels on their own. That would be worth reading. In the meantime, enjoy this delightful little read.