Saturday, December 15, 2012


ZOO: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL (Yen Press/ Hachette, 2012; Hardcover)

Writer: James Patterson with Michael Ledwidge and Andy MacDonald (adaptation)

Artist: Andy MacDonald

Zoo is an adaptation of the 2012 James Patterson novel of the same name. My wife reads “real” books and is familiar with him. A quick search online revealed that I too am familiar with some of his work. I saw the film adaptations of Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider. Andy MacDonald's artwork is very easy on the eyes.

The gist, with no spoilers: Jackson Oz is a scientist who discovers an alarming pattern of increased aggression in animals towards humans. He is initially dismissed as a quack with far out ideas but, much to his dismay, is proven more correct than he dared hope for. This a cautionary tale that is frightening because it is plausible. I have the whole suspension of disbelief thing down pat. It doesn't have to be 100% realistic, but if it is explained well enough for me to buy it, then I'm in. 

I'm not sure how to classify this. It's not quite Horror, not quite Science Fiction, and not quite a thriller. Let's just call it good.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The OCD zone- The dustjacket has a weird coating on the grays that is rough to the touch. This is done on purpose, as the rest of the dustjacket has a nice coating. It makes me feel ill when I touch it. I was a stockboy in the late '80s and early '90s, and Gilbey's Gin used to come in frosted glass bottles. It made my neck hairs stand on end just touching those bottles, and the gray portions of this dustjacket brought back that uneasy feeling.

The dustjacket is double-sided, with an additional image printed on the inside. Fancy. The hardback itself has minimal coating. I disliked this the first few times that I experienced this on several DC hardcovers, but it has grown on me. I can live with it.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Superb thick coated stock paper.

Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5. This is quite possibly the best glued binding that I have ever seen. It lays almost as flat as the best sewn binding, the result of having the casing not glued square to the spine so it flexes. It exhibits the same arch that a Marvel hardcover with sewn binding does. I wish that more publishers would adopt this for their low-to-mid-level hardcover that already use glued binding.

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