The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall, by Drew Weing

Review copy provided by First Second Books.

This is the sequel to the original The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, and in some ways it’s more a chunk carved off the same large story. The episodic resolution here is pretty incomplete. The plot moves forward, but not to any kind of conclusion. It begins with Chapter 4 and ends with an epilogue, though why it’s structured as an epilogue rather than Chapter 6 when there isn’t any doubt that there will have to be more story is not entirely clear to me.

The premise of these comics is that the titular kid is a go-between for humans in monster society, someone who understands that monsters are persecuted and hunted, someone who can try to talk the scarier monsters out of eating the humans. The comic is told from the perspective of her somewhat feckless kid reporter sidekick, Charles, who is learning all about his new home of Echo City and all about monsters. Charles is an extremely useful exposition device.

The empathy of this series brings the fun a little deeper, and Margo’s family situation is further explained in this volume in a very sympathetic way. It’s probably not going to revolutionize your worldview about monsters or relationships between different groups of humans, but it’s a fun and fairly non-toxic time for the kids who are its target audience.

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