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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: exlibrary hardcover book no dust jacket, usual library marks and stickers, has some reader wear
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The Return of King Doug Hardcover – December 8, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–A secret door into another world, the battle of good vs. evil, redemption–these elements are so common in fantasy that they have long been clichés. The Return of King Doug takes the lot of these epic journey tropes and gives them a tweak by injecting sarcasm and humor. On vacation with his family, eight-year-old Doug discovers the fantastical Kingdom of Valdonia hidden down a well. Hailed as the chosen one who will lead a victory over the Dark Witch, he is not quite ready to accept his role and leaves the inhabitants of Valdonia high and dry. Flash forward 25 years. Doug is a divorced, directionless, video-game-playing father. When his son is dropped off for a weekend, Doug takes the youngster to his family's old vacation house. There Oscar is pulled into Valdonia, and Doug goes in after him, discovering a kingdom much different than the one he left. He finds his son and his courage, defeating the Dark Witch. The authors never leave an opportunity for humor unexploited. The tone is certainly sarcastic, often with wisecracks that provide solid (if a bit immature) laughs. The black-and-white illustrations are crisp and clear, smoothly conveying the story with an animation quality that is easy to follow. It's all entertaining enough, with an irreverence that will please many graphic-novel fans, but an additional purchase overall.
–Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI

From Booklist

It has been 25 years since Doug last visited the magical Kingdom of Valdonia as an eight-year-old. Now an unemployed loser and single father, he’s completely forgotten it even exists, or that he was the chosen one destined to knock the evil queen from her throne; he instead fled back to our much safer world. It seems, however, fate cannot be outrun after all, and he finds himself back in Valdonia to rescue his son from the hopelessly bleak world where the once-happy Tumtums have become downright suicidal, and the noble centaurs of old are now slovenly boozers barely spry enough to remember the glory days. Erb and Oremland have a great deal of fun playing with traditional fantasy conventions featuring slapsticky humor that isn’t above going for crotch-shots or bodily fluid jokes. Clark’s finely inked black-and-white linework immediately brings Jeff Smith to mind—probably no accident. Rumor has it Ben Stiller and DreamWorks are working on a movie adaptation, so anticipate demand for this ironic graphic-novel adventure. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Oni Press; 1 edition (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934964158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934964156
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,828,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Bynum on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, which is a comic take on fantasy adventure classics like Lord of the Rings, and especially, Chronicles of Narnia. In this case, the hero is a reluctant slacker named Doug, who, as an eight-year-old, was prophesied to be the "Chosen One" who would save the magical kingdom of Valdonia from an evil queen. Instead, he fled, and Valdonia was enslaved. Now a dysfunctional adult, Doug is called back to Valdonia to rescue his son and fulfill his heroic destiny, kicking and screaming all the way. There is a great mixture of humor, fantasy and action here. The world of Valdonia is hilariously off kilter, with centaurs re-imagined as over-the-hill jocks, cantankerous feuding oracles, and the Munchkin-like Tum Tums, who are not quite as adorable as their name implies. The art has a bright, anime-influenced style, and the story is witty enough to please adults and yet accessible enough to engage a seven year old (mine loved it).
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Format: Hardcover
This book had been on my radar for quite a while. Fate interjected and I ended up getting the book for a fairly good deal. The wait was worth while, and the story was very enjoyable to read. I thought it was a very fun read that not only kids could enjoy, but parents as well. While there is a message to the story it doesn't completely overpower the adventure that is had in the book. While the story was highly enjoyable it did feel a little predictable at times, which is probably why I would give it 4.5 stars. However, it really is a great read, and there is some very humorous and entering parts to the story. I think this is a great book for father and sons to enjoy, or even the whole family.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imagine the Chronicles of Narnia books if they had featured real children. Real children who freak-out when the great battle between good and evil is about to go down and hightail it out of there. That's the premise of this smart and funny graphic novel. As a child, Doug was "the chosen one" and was to lead an army of good against the forces of evil in a magical land, but he chickens out and escapes back into the real world. Decades later, he is a single dad and perpetual loser who can't see anything through to the end. When his son stumbles his way into the magical kingdom, Doug is forced to go back to save him and face the people he left behind. A warped sense of humor permeates throughout this surprisingly sweet tale. The jokes are smart enough for adults, but gentle enough for kids as there is no sex or crude language. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A young boy on the verge of manhood discovers a portal to magical land in peril, and discovers he alone holds the key to its salavation. Think you've heard this tale before? Not like this you haven't. The Return of King Doug is a (welcome) refreshing spin on a classic story that manages to do what real humor does best: pay homage and poke fun in just the right balance. Working with a storyline we all think we know, I'd imagine it would be easy to just go for the cheap laughs and move on, but the delightful appeal here is that King Doug treats the "source material" (and the reader) with the perfect mix of reverence and respect.

Easily one of the more fun and imanginative graphic novels I've read in a long time, and allows for plenty of breezy, escapist fun. Bonus points for a couple of laugh-out-loud jokes I won't spoil for you here. The friend who recommended the book to me said it was like The Princess Bride meets Scott Pilgrim, and after giving it a read, I'm happy to say I couldn't agree more. With its fast-paced storyline, stylish art, quick wit, and engaging characters who manage to surprise you with every turn of the page, its clear King Doug's creators want you to have as much fun reading it as they obviously had creating it. Their fun becomes our fun and the end result is irresistable. But perhaps The Return of King Doug's greatest gift is that it takes a familair sounding tale and manages to make it new and fresh all at the same time.

I also thought the hardback cover was a nice touch, and showed the publisher went the extra mile in making sure The Return of King Doug finds itself properly displayed on the shelf amongst the classics.
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