BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Copper by Kazu Kibuishi

CopperFrom Kazu Kibuishi, the creator of our son’s favorite Amuletseries [Amulet 3 is apparently in the final stretch of production, whoo hooo!], comes the “definitive collection” of his webcomic about a boy named Copper and his droll best friend, an adorably spotty dog named Fred.

“The first Copper image and text – [‘a scared little boy and his equally scared-looking dog’ designed onto a t-shirt] – was reflective of a time in my life when things weren’t working out so well,” writes Kibuishi in his introduction. In two days, he had to deal with his troubled parents, lost his job, his apartment, and got “attacked by a crazy guy in the street who told me to go back to my ‘home country.'” But Kibuishi’s trials and tribulations eventually helped him set his priorities straight: “All of a sudden, my cartoons mattered to me more than ever before.” Cartooning became his profession,and Copper and Fred got a regular gig. Pushing fear aside, Copper “became an active participant in the world … and walked ahead with his ideals, undeterred.”

Living in Bolt City, Copper and Fred have no end to adventures. When Fred’s hungry, he thinks about leaving, but Copper knows he just needs to feed his canine buddy. They both have a penchant for Aunt Koko’s melon bread but sometimes bananas will just have to do. Fred’s all about asking the bigger questions in life – he worries about missing out, that everyone hates him, then no one cares about him. But even when he’s a bit of a doom-and-gloom naysayer at the start, he never says ‘no’ to the fun and tries to be the voice of reason at least part of the time.

At collection’s end, Kibuishi includes a step-by-step guide to how he brings Copper and Fred to life. He makes it sound and look so easy, although I’m with Fred thinking “I can’t, I can’t …” Thank goodness Kibuishi can. “If I did my job correctly, the reader will not be thinking too much about the making of Copper and simply enjoy this story.” Yup, equal enjoyment for all ages right here.

Now about that Amulet 3

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2010


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