Publisher's Note:  

Charles just moved to Echo City, and some of his new neighbors give him the creeps. They sneak into his room, steal his toys, and occasionally, they try to eat him.

The place is teeming with monsters!

Lucky for Charles, Echo City has Margo Maloo, monster mediator. No matter who’s causing trouble, Margo knows exactly what to do?the neighborhood kids say monsters are afraid of her. It's a good thing, because Echo City's trolls, ogres, and ghosts all have one thing in common: they don't like Charles very much.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by First Second Books

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo

by Drew Weing

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

More Margo Maloo please! That's exactly what readers will be saying after encountering The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing.

Adolescent Charles Thompson is none too pleased. He and his parents have just moved to a new city and this witty lad is not liking it one bit, thank you very much! That is until he has a confrontation with something that goes bump in the night, and then Margo Maloo, monster mediator is on the case.

There are a few things to love from the very start with this graphic novel. First, its horizontal rectangular shape gives it an effervescent feel. It may seem like a slight thing, but it really does add some individuality. Second, author and illustrator Drew Weing's use of retro colors gives the sequential art a classic cartoonist feel that is such a cool throwback. And thirdly, the addition of a map, and a glossary of monsters shows the creator's commitment to the story, and it's just a fun way for readers to get move involved.

What I really liked was the fact that unlike most novels where kids team up to annihilate things like monsters, or what they deem to be bad things, this novel teaches a different technique. Margo is a mediator, not an extinguisher. There is even an endearing scene in which Charles' dad tries explaining that even if someone seems different you should still give them a chance because appearances aren't always what they seem.

This is a somewhat tricky novel to pin point age demographically. It may be about children who are dealing with monsters, but it also has some sarcastic humor, that may not be as age appropriate for a younger audience (please see Content Analysis below), so it may be best suited for middle-schoolers and adults who don't mind if it looks like they are reading a children's' novel.

This first volume in the series really does strike the right balance between adorable and funny, and I, for one, can't wait for more creepy case files with Margo, Charles and all the monsters of Echo City.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  6 Religious exclamations. (Note:  Fantasy creature makes it known that they detest children who swear.) 

Violence/Gore:  Child character informs parent that they'll be sorry when child is mugged by a drug addict (humorous); child character is scared by monster (2x); child character exasperatedly explains to parent that their afraid of being mugged and murdered (funny); fantasy character admits to eating another fantasy creature; fantasy creatures kidnap child character and threaten him/her with dismemberment; fantasy creature threatens to go after child character; child character complains that they received scratches and bruises; extended scene (about 4 panels) fantasy creatures have a brawl. 

Sex/Nudity:  Portrayal of a somewhat provocative looking female on a set of playing cards (one small scale panel).

Mature Subject Matter:  

None per se, but there are a few humorous/sarcastic references that may concern young children. (Please see above Content Analysis.)

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Child character informs parent that they'll be sorry when child is mugged by a drug addict (humorous); brief mention of a bar that let's children inside; depiction of children entering a bar for fantasy creatures; fantasy creature mentions cigarettes.

Reviewed By MaryLou
No image available