Crilley, probably best known for his Akiko novels and comic books, weighs in with the Miki Falls series, about lively, curious high-school-senior Miki, ready for adventure and romance. Attractive new student Hiro Sakurai piques Miki's curiosity, but he is not interested in making friends. Stubborn Miki, however, refuses to take no for an answer, which leads to a surprising revelation about the secretive young man. Except for an odd twist at the end (which, presumably, will be developed in future volumes), there are no surprises here. Crilley's manga
-inspired illustrations, on the other hand, are terrific. Ranging from crisscrossing sequential panels to spot art, varied in size and artfully connected to further the plot, the pictures cleverly instill the story with abundant emotion, humor, and drama. An overlay of light shading and almost delicately rendered facial features and details give the book a softer feel than much manga.
Despite the age of the characters, this will attract more middle-schoolers than older comics fans. Stephanie ZvirinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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About the Author
Mark Crilley is from Detroit. After college, he spent several years teaching English in the Far East, first in Taiwan then in Japan. While living in Japan he wrote his first comic: Akiko on the Planet Smoo. The Akiko comics quickly became a success and in 1998 Mark was named one of the '100 most creative people in entertainment' by Entertainment Weekly. This led to a deal with Random House for a graphic novel series aimed at younger readers. Miki Falls, which draws on Mark's experiences in Japan, is his first graphic novel for teenagers.