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Glister Paperback – July 18, 2017
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In “The Haunted Teapot”, the title object is simply delivered in a package one day. (We don’t need to know why. That’s not important to the story, and this is the kind of imaginative fiction where things like that just happen.) It holds the ghost of an old-fashioned wordy novelist who wants Glister to type his last great book.
The ghost has no concern for Glister’s time or any other activities, so she must find a way to free herself from his demands. First, she tries selling the thing to a wonderfully ridiculous character, a shady antique dealer who used to be a professional wrestler. Finally, some research reveals the answer. The story rambles a bit, but in a lovely, “what might you want to hear next?” storytelling way. With plenty of humor, it’s just the thing for a cozy afternoon read.
“The House Hunt” goes further into the mysterious, magical rooms of Glister’s home, which are subject to change at whim. The village is competing to be recognized as a particularly nice place, and the inspector insults Chilblain Hall as ramshackle, so the house decides to leave, and Glister and her dad must find new accommodations. There’s a nice comparison between the efficiencies of a newer residence and the charm of and fondness for an old one. The imagination of world travel is also a fun inspiration.
“The Faerie Host” shows us Glister getting a little tired of her father’s elaborate, months-long preparations for Christmas. She wanders into faerieland seeking more information about her long-gone mother. The tone of this story is rather different from the others, from its classic allusions to folklore for dealing with fairies to the underlying sadness of Glister growing up with only one parent and how much she misses her mother.
“The Family Tree” grows various relations for Glister, and when they all visit at once, it’s quite a crowd. Glister hopes for warm memories of togetherness, but they all have their own interests, particularly the gambler who turns the home into a hotel. It’s a wonderful gang of weirdos who, as expected, all manage to come together when they must.
Watson’s illustrations are full of homey and yet slightly odd detail, particularly in Glister’s rambling old house and with her distracted father. Each chapter is tinted with a different color ink line. The first, reddish, then blue, purple, and a greyish green.
Glister deserves to be on any child’s shelf, between Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Tollbooth. (Review originally posted at ComicsWorthReading.com.)
The first thing I noticed, is that the writing is very similar to a fairy tale, or other short story based in a fantasy land. Her father is eccentric, and they live at Chilblain Hall. Her father is a great character, and leaves me chuckling. Glister struck me as a fun child, both interesting and capable of her adventures. She eventually learns she's acquired a teapot with a ghost inside. The end was not only a pleasant surprise, but a great twist on what is generally a static story template.
Oh do I wish this was in color! That being said, the artwork is so charming, that I don't even mind. I'm just happy I could see all of these fantastic scenes play out. Her expressions and the fantasy elements were just enough to be different, without being over the top. I want to see a lot more of Andi Watson in both a literary setting as well as an illustrator.
Upon finishing, I was upset that I had waited to do so! This book is not only great for kids and teens, but it kept me interested and wanting more. What else is Glister up to? Does she find any other eccentric people in her town? Does the ghost interact with her any further? I've already placed a hold on the next comic, and this time I will NOT wait to read it!