Small VolcanoesReady to solve a mystery? Well, join 8-year-old Nancy Drew and her best friends, George & Bess, in their all new adventures as Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew. In the first book in this brand new series published by Papercutz, written by Sarah Kinney and Stefan Petrucha and illustrated by Stan Goldberg, readers are treated to a new Nancy Drew story that has mystery, intrigue, and plenty of laughs.

When all the science project volcanoes go missing from their school’s cupboard, Nancy and the rest of the Clue Crew decide to solve the mystery of where they went and who took them. As the only team who didn’t build a volcano for their science class, let’s just say that suspicious eyes are on them. If they don’t solve this mystery before it erupts, they might be facing down a lot of angry classmates!

When I read this comic, I realized that these drawings really reminded me of how Archie Comics are drawn, and when I looked up the artist who worked on this book, Stan Goldberg, I discovered that he had worked on Archie Comics! The illustrations are fun and playful as well as vibrantly colored. The panels are extremely easy to follow and experienced and new comics readers will find them easy to navigate. Word bubbles are appropriately placed and they match up well with the characters who are actually speaking. At times, people or things in the distance seem unfocused and lacking in precision, but I think that’s more an indication of style as opposed to an oversight. Emotion and physical traits are well drawn and faces are extremely expressive and realistically illustrated. The drawings were well done, indicative of the style, and will definitely appeal to those who already enjoy this type of illustration. For fans of Goldberg’s work, this is another great example of his illustrating style.

I wasn’t as thrilled with the story as I was the drawings, but it was easy to follow this story. It has a definite mystery structure and the resolution had a bit of a twist. However, the story wasn’t very well developed and felt incomplete at times. I have never read a Nancy Drew story and the lack of back story on the characters wasn’t a total hindrance, but I would have liked some context to the story. Since this is the first in the series, there should have been some kind of brief introduction to the characters and their world. All in all, this was a quick read that will probably appeal to readers who are already fans of the Nancy Drew series.

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, vol. 1: Small Volcanoes
by Sarah Kinney and Stefan Petrucha
Art by Stan Goldberg
ISBN: 9781597073547
Papercutz, 2012
Publisher Age Rating:

  • Traci

    | She/Her

    Traci has been a graphic novel selector and collections coordinator for kids and teens in libraries in Arizona and Oregon since 2005. She served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, and served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens blogging team. She previously coordinated the Oregon Young Adult Network’s Graphic Rave list, OYAN’s yearly list of the best graphic reads for teens. Traci is a member of ALA, YALSA, and GNCRT. And, she achieved her greatest dream ever by serving as a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards.

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