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The Only Living Boy #1: Prisoner of the Patchwork Planet Hardcover – March 8, 2016

4.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—Twelve-year-old Erik is running away, and he stops to spend the night in the shelter of a rock outcrop in New York City's Central Park. When he wakes up, he finds himself in an alternate version of the city, complete with monstrous creatures baring their enormous teeth and an evil-looking dragon sitting atop the Empire State Building. Erik gets knocked out during a fight with the monsters and wakes up in a prison cell, where he learns that he is the only living human left in the world. He decides to free his fellow prisoners and fight back against their captor, an evil scientist named Doctor Once. Erik's escape leads him to further adventures in an underground kingdom, built under what was once New York City. This action-packed graphic novel is filled with vividly colored and incredibly detailed illustrations of a wide variety of fantasy creatures, some terrifying and some endearing. From start to finish, the story line proceeds at a breakneck pace, with sometimes abrupt scene changes and little room for character development. However, readers who enjoy constant action and huge fight scenes will find much to like in this volume, and they will arrive at the end breathless and ready for the next installment in the series. VERDICT A fun offering for comic fans who love action and adventure.—Sarah Reid, Broome County Public Library, Binghamton, NY

Review

"THE ONLY LIVING BOY is ready to join the ranks of books like BONE and AMULET as one of the very best.... A great blend of fantasy and pulp elements that will appeal to fans of all ages." -- BLASTR

"Boy meets (alien) world in the excellent scifi adventure comic The Only Living Boy."--​​io9​

"Ellis' full-color art looks like something right out of a classic fantasy comic... The episodic plot and quick-fire pace will appeal to reluctant readers hoping for a big payoff from a small package."-- BOOKLIST

"Gallaher's fantastic story & exotic locales are filled with dangerous creatures but his characters are instantly relatable to young readers. They grapple with issues like intolerance, finding self confidence, and feeling like the odd person out."-- THE GOOD MEN PROJECT

 "An all-ages adventure book inspired by pulp serials, Saturday morning cartoons, Jack Kirby, and even the music of Paul Simon."--MENTAL FLOSS

 "A hero with memory loss, scaly monsters, alien heroines, giant evil dragons, underground cities, secrets, this is adventuresome, fast-paced alternate reality action with engaging, layered characters and great, great drawing. Everything you could possibly want in a comic."
-- Nick Abadzis, Writer of LAIKA

 "Gallaher's story presents a classic tale of fantasy exploration."
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

 "Paul Pope and Jack Kirby never had a chance to work together, but if they had, it would be only slightly less awesome than this."--Mark Waid, Writer of DAREDEVIL, KINGDOM COME, and FLASH

 "[David Gallaher's] career has been spent kind of on the front lines of comic book innovation."--- DEN OF GEEK (US)

 "A modern masterpiece for all ages. I wish more comics were like this." -- Jimmy Palmiotti, Writer of HARLEY QUINN and JONAH HEX

 "A young lad named Erik runs away from home and finds himself the sole human child capable of saving an unfriendly new world. Add in a mermaid and a bug lady, and you have the makings of a rollicking action fantasy in the spirit of Jack Kirby's Kamandi."-- PANELS

 "Magical."-- POPMATTERS

 "Young readers may come for the insect princess and the dragon, but they will stay because they will see a character who struggles with the same uncertainties and anxieties they do." -- FANGIRL NATION
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Only Living Boy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Papercutz (March 8, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629914436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1629914435
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Gage on March 8, 2016
Format: Hardcover
The Only Living Boy is that rarest of things, a book that can genuinely be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I detected influences as varied as the Narnia books, Thundarr the Barbarian, and the old Kamandi comics (and even Stephen King and Peter Straub's "The Talisman"), but this story of a boy from New York who runs away from home and ends up in a weird, creature-filled, post-apocalyptic Manhattan (a parallel dimension? Our future? That's a mystery to be solved, along with his dim memory of his old life) blazes its own trail. Dragons, mermaids, insect queens and dastardly villains abound. There are plenty of thrills and perilous moments, but nothing too gory or scary for kids over the stated age of 7+...yet it also doesn't feel "dumbed down" or otherwise compromised for the children's market. The art is creative and imaginative, and tells the story beautifully. I'm on board for the rest of the series, and if I had kids, I'd be sharing it with them.
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Format: Hardcover
Only Living Boy is an utter joy. This fantastical adventure falls somewhere between the pages of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain and John Byrne's stellar 80s run on the Fantastic Four. (specifically his wild Negative Zone stories) The book follows young Erik Farrell as he runs away and then stumbles into a strange world in the process. The series creators Gallaher and Ellis clearly understand children – what makes them tick and what makes them interesting. Their world is bursting with imagination and Ellis' dynamic and stunning artwork makes the rollicking writing of Gallaher sing. Cannot recommend this enough. If a Narnia/Oz adventure that's a sidestep from NYC sounds like a good time, run, don't walk, to pick this up!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I handed my advance paperback copy (thanks to a lucky sweepstakes win) of this book over to my 9-year old daughter who loves any and all strange, weird, and otherwise out of the ordinary tales, and she really liked this. "It was good weird", is a direct quote. Fantastic illustrations, and a strange world inhabited by all sorts of wonderful and weird creatures: mermaid warrior, an insect-ish princess... Recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
So thrilled to see The Only Living Boy finally published! My girls (13 and 11) and I have been reading the releases online and can't wait to dig into the physical novel! It is hard finding graphic novels that are appropriate for tweens; we have a few of the favorites -- Rania Telegmeier, Dave Roman, Jeff Smith, Sarah Varon, Ben Hatke . We are so excited to be able to add this series to our list! And, as the selector of graphic novels for the university library, I will also be adding this to the collection! Thanks David Gallaher and Steve Ellis!
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Format: Hardcover
The Only Living Boy #1: Prisoner of the Patchwork Planet

The Only Living Boy is the best riff of Jack Kirby style imagination and engaging story. Gallaher and Ellis make a fantastic team that will have you keep turning the page to find out what happens next. I also recommend High Moon which is done by the same creative team.

-Michael Edwards, Author of Scarlet Tie, Key-Master and Tyke, Teen of Tomorrow, Xander Lorde Brilliant Detective, and Doctor Spacewarp
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hello all! 100% middle school teacher here. I'm about to enter my 8th year teaching the most notoriously difficult age group (7th graders) and I have to say that The Only Living Boy is a WINNER on all levels. If you are looking for an action-packed graphic novel that will capture ALL kids--from the self-proclaimed anime loving nerd to the kiddo who seems allergic to every published book ever printed--David Gallaher's The Only Living Boy series is seriously a MUST have!! My 7th graders positively connected to the protagonist ("Hey, Erik's the same age as me!"), loved the ghoulish antagonist ("That looks like Frankenstein and the mad scientist cloned together!"), and had a genuinely enjoyable time analyzing the various literary elements (onomatopoeia, internal dialogue, analogy) and brilliant illustrations (zoom in, birds eye, action sequence, and on and on) throughout our graphic novel case study. When surveyed about continuing the series, 100% of students--yes, ALL kids--said they "couldn't wait" for the second volume in the series to come out!

To top off a great reading experience, David Gallaher MAXIMIZED our love for the book by visiting our classroom and engaging with kids on what it means to be a creator of comics, including how to do work that makes you happy while living the life of a writer (exhibiting daily early morning routines and persistence, love of storytelling, and even sometimes having the rare chance to sing with Stan Lee!). Hands down, our students left inspired and, most importantly, ready to create their OWN characters and stories!
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Format: Hardcover
I've had the pleasure to discover The Only Living Boy through single issues, and hadn't read all of them, but this collection from Papercutz is a masterpiece! Great story. Great art. David Gallaher and Steve Ellis make every panel count! It's the all-age comic book you don't want to miss.
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Format: Hardcover
In a world of superheroes and spandex, The Only Living Boy is a breath of fresh air. The story is both intriguing and refreshing, with a whole cast of characters from out of a dream. Immediately, you are plunged into the story and hooked by the struggles of the main character. On top of that, the world is so surreal and fantastic you want to turn the pages just to see more of it. I think the best part about it was that it was almost like reading through the Labyrinth - that is to say, it was such an incredible piece of fantasy and adventure, and yet it still felt like it hit home. Something about it was beautifully nostalgic for me, and I can't wait to read more. I love the art as well. It meshes with the story perfectly, and adds to the wonder of the world the creators have built. The only drawback to this book was that it wasn't long enough. I wanted more! Definitely going to buy the next volume.
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