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Adventure Time: Islands - Book Review

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published March 6th 2018
This prequel graphic novel is set 1,000 years in the past
Adventure Time Islands Book Review
Burch, Daguna, Lamb and Paroline

Adventure Time is an American animated television series that follows the adventures of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog in the colourful post-apocalyptic land of Ooo. The show was created by Pendleton Ward and premiered on the Cartoon Network in 2010. It was a huge success for the network earning positive reviews from critics and attracting a large following among adults and teenagers. At present, the show has run for over 250 episodes and has spawned several spins offs and specials and a successful line of graphic novels and video games. Adventure Time is scheduled to finish its television run in 2018.

Adventure Time: Islands was an animated miniseries created as part of the eighth season of Adventure Time. It was the second miniseries produced for the show. The first one, Stakes, aired on the Cartoon Network back in 2015. Islands ran on the Cartoon Network from the 30th of January to the 2nd of February 2017. In the special, Finn and Jake and their friends BMO and Susan Strong, decide to leave Ooo and travel on a boat across the ocean to try and find out where Finn came from and what happened to the humans in Ooo. During their adventures, they discover some tribes of humans living on some islands and meet Finn's mother Minerva.

The trailer for Adventure Time: Islands

Adventure Time: Islands the graphic novel was released in December 2016 a month before the animated miniseries came onto TV. The novel is intended for younger readers. It was published by KaBOOM! which is an arm of BOOM! Studios and Cartoon Network Enterprises that publishes comic books and graphic novels aimed at younger readers. Islands was written by Ashly Burch and illustrated by Diigii Daguna. Burch is an Emmy-nominated writer who has written storylines for season 7 and 8 of Adventure Time for the Cartoon Network. Diigii Daguna is an illustrator and a designer from the Philippines.

The novel is about a girl called Bunny Girl (also known as Jo) who lived over 1,000 years ago with some of the last humans in Ooo. Islands is set in the wake of the Great Mushroom War and the start of the vampire epidemic. Bunny Girl first appeared in the episode "Everything Stays" which was part of the Stakes mini-series. Jo is a normal human girl who got the nickname "Bunny Girl" because she wears a hat that has rabbit ears. Jo lives with a group of human refugees. She is friends with Marceline the Vampire Queen. In Islands Jo and the other humans who survived the Great Mushroom War and avoided the vampires have boarded a boat and are trying to cross the ocean to find somewhere safe to live because the mainland is too dangerous to stay on.

The other main character in Islands is Two Bread Tom. He is another human and the leader of the group making the voyage across the ocean. He wears a head scarf that covers the front and back of his neck to give him protection from vampires. Tom leads Jo and the other humans to an island which has another human tribe living on it. This island would later become known as Founders Island.

Will the humans be able to live happily ever after on the island?

Is it as safe as it seems?

What are its secrets?

What weird and wonderful things will Jo and the others discover?

This was an interesting little book. It had a different style to other Adventure Time graphic novels. The first thing that stood out to me was how Diigii Daguna used pictures more than words to tell the story. Colours pop and the structure of the panels on the pages were really creative and different.

Instead of neat lines and squares like you would find in a regular graphic novel, Daguna uses jiggered lines and sharp angles and squares and other odd shapes to break up scenes. The style works really well on some pages which feature a lot of small panels but little words. Daguna manages to squeeze in a lot of action on some pages using the technique.

The illustrations were a little bit scratchier round the edges than you would usually find in an Adventure Time book. The characters have simple looking faces and there was a roughness to the drawings that made it look like they were drawn hastily with pen. I liked the character of Jo and the journey that she goes on in the book. I wouldn't mind reading some more adventures about how she and the other humans manage to survive on Founders Island.
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Why? This book would appeal to younger fans of Adventure Time
When: This book would make a great gift for a kid aged 10 years and up
Where: Try looking in comic book stores or online shops like Amazon or the Book Despository
Cost: $10-15
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