Written, art, and lettered by James Kochalka. Published by Top Shelf Productions.
Aliens are hilarious. Their odd physiology and eccentric adventures open themselves up to all kinds of laughs. In their own little world, which isn’t bound by the confines of ours, even the mundane can be fantastical. No one knows this better than Eisner award-winning cartoonist James Kochalka, who returns with the second book in the Glork Patrol series – Glork Patrol Takes A Bath.
It all begins innocently with the two alien babies, Gonk and Quackaboodle, asking Glorkian SuperGrandma if they can have candy for breakfast. From there, the ~40-page graphic novel gives us a series of messy shenanigans that bounce from one silly scenario to another, much to the displeasure of the Glorkian Warrior. Readers get everything from sticky fingers, sentient backpacks, and destructive bathtimes.
Kochalka leans into this silliness with his signature style. The linework is bold but not rigid and plays with exaggerated forms in expressive ways. For instance, the Glorkian Warrior, a three-eyed buck-toothed beanpole, doesn’t just look funny but is funny through his exaggerated movements and form. A great example of this is when the character throws a temper tantrum. Kochalka has him lying on the floor with arms and legs, accompanied by motion lines and multiple copies of his appendages, flaying all over the place. Without that kind of movement, it wouldn’t be all that funny.
The style is topped off with an otherworldly colour palette. Bright oranges, blues, pinks, purples, and greens cover the comic’s world making it look alien while still fun for all ages.
From a reading comprehension standpoint, it’s simple enough that children could read this by themselves. It’s also short enough, at around 40 pages, that it could be read in one sitting.
At the same time, Glork Patrol Takes A Bath is a perfect graphic novel for adults to read to children. With colourful characters and wacky situations, it’s a prime opportunity to put on silly voices and have some fun together. It’s bound to elicit plenty of giggles from everyone involved.
Glork Patrol Takes A Bath is an incredibly fun graphic novel. Full of smart cartooning, kids will love it for the colourful characters and silly situations. For adults, it’s an opportunity to step away from the mundane and revel in some alien shenanigans – something we could all have more of.