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Fantasy Sports 2: The Bandit of Barbel Bay Hardcover – July 19, 2016
The Amazon Book Review
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—This installment picks up right where the predecessor left off: mages Wiz-Kid and Mug are headed home with the spoils from their basketball victory. The dynamic duo's route takes them through Barbel Bay, a seaside town recently visited—and ransacked by—the Order of Mages. Wiz and Mug attempt to blend in as locals for a night, but they are tricked by a thieving cleric. Their treasure is stolen and, it turns out, used as ante for Barbel Bay's volleyball tournament. Wiz and Mug once again take to the sports arena, this time to earn back what's rightfully theirs. The pair quickly learn the rules of volleyball and crush the opposition, but when Barbel Bay's own champions enter the fray, Wiz and Mug's best efforts might not be enough to see them through. While the first volume of "Fantasy Sports" centered on the dynamic between the main characters, this follow-up explores the heroes' world. What is the Order of Mages? How was Wiz adopted into the profession? And, most important, why would a town openly disdain the Order? Bosma's artwork consistently succeeds with its acclaimed early-1990s anime aesthetic, and the modern absurdist-style comedy remains spot-on. The artwork is further embellished by a vivid blue tone to Barbel Bay, in contrast to the red hue of the first volume. This entry does require readers to be familiar with Wiz and Mug's characterizations and offers little in the way of an introduction for new readers. VERDICT A must-buy for any library with the first volume on the shelf, and a solid additional purchase for any library looking to build a graphic novel section.—Matisse Mozer, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Bosma could have simply mirrored Wiz's first, successful outing, but instead he introduces Wiz's back story, moral complexity, and mystery and leaves the ending unresolved, making this second volume more substantial than the first. Bosma's anime panels are polished, with movement and the right amount of intricate action-adventure frames. Fans will be breathing down Bosma's neck for the third.
This is anything but a repeat of the first volume, with layers of character development making this a deeper venture, and an evolving bond between Wiz and Mug results in different dynamics between the two than in the first volume. The manga-inspired illustrations sizzle with action and drama; changing relationship to panel structure helps control pace, and an otherworldly range of colors are both discordant and inviting.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Bosma’s good-hearted and beautifully drawn sequel once again mixes high fantasy and sports drama [...] [Fantasy Sports 2] carries a similar message of the power of unity and friendship in the face of anger and miscommunication.
...exploring more substantial thematic material adds even more depth to an already rich series.
The AV Club
This book is sure to be a hit with kids who’ll enjoy seeing their favorite sports played to the extreme by funny-looking monsters.
Sam Bosma is a genius! Fantasy Sports is the perfect mix of everything you could ever want in a comic! I am in love!
Rebecca Sugar, Creator of Cartoon Network's Steven Universe
A fun romp with skillfully drawn action sequences, this second book sets up Wiz’s backstory and a more complex political dynamic to be explored as the series continues. Middle grade readers will be pulled in by the jokes and action while adults will find themselves pleasantly surprised by the nuances of the story.
Marika McCoola, Author of Baba Yaga's Assistant
Bosma gets to the heart of what makes a sport fun to watch and play without dumbing down strategy or game play.
[ ] there is no good reason at all for you to not get this delightful book and give it to a kid who loves comics or your local library, or keep it on the shelf to re-re-read from time to time. [ ] oh my goodness can Sam Bosma tell a story!
With the stellar artwork and a great story, "Fantasy Sports Volume 2" is a solid sequel to the splendid first book.
The Newest Rant
It’s a book with strong storytelling with both the writing and the visuals, but with the visuals you can go back through and just look at the book and grasp the story. That’s how strong the artwork is and how beautiful.
This is a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is like watching the last nail biting minutes of a good game of sport. It will also make you smile and laugh at the over-the-top antics and overblown emotions. It is literally an adrenalin injection of a comic, thrilling and affecting, fun and frenetic.
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Top Customer Reviews
A: Both. And then some.
I've been a Bosma fan since my toes could fit in my socks(quite a while ago), and his Fantasy Sports series does not disappoint in any sense. And I for one am a self-proclaimed-team-sports-hater so I don't know why I like it so much. It has the joy and beauty I get from watching a Miyazaki film, the speed of a good action comic, and the humor of someone who has good humor.
Don't read this one till you read FS1, but you can if you want, its a free country. Maybe read them both.
10 out of 10 clams, would read again.