Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem
Scott Christian Sava, Mike Holmes, Hillary Sycamore
Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem starts innocuously with young Owen’s unwanted trip to the circus and quickly spirals out of control as more and more of the zany circus life intersects starts to intersect with his. Bearded ladies, strongmen, clowns with multi-purpose balloons and gypsy psychics – the staples of circus antics – have Owen’s best interests at heart, especially when he gets into trouble. Trouble defines the riotous action that propels the story and gives it flair of its own. A great Graphic Novel, Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem will have you chortling away at the bizarre and strange occurrences that happen in the ‘Greatest Show on Earth.’
The story is masterfully written. In Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem. the action flows from panel to panel seamlessly; words are apropos to the action at hand. Speech is well meted out and Owen, the star of the story, never ceases to lose the central image. Hijinks upon hijinks occur and are handled with a talent Sava seems to have mastered. The interplay between Sava’s story, Holmes’ art and Sycamore’s coloring is as dynamic and as entertaining as one can expect from a zany issue collaborated on. The graphic novel gels in an unbelievable way, wending and weaving the story until its rollicking end. The writing is top notch and accentuates the art in a fashion that is sure to please graphic novel lovers everywhere. Although I believe it is aimed at slightly a lower age demographic than the reviewer, I still received a massive amount of satisfaction at the end of the story.
The art was perfect for this subject. The colors were applied brilliantly. There is no complaint that in the art department Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem delivers. Vibrant and lively, with mounting bizarre circumstances, the art is pushed over the top in the realms of maintenance of consistent style, odd angles of perspective, and the ‘mayhem’ involved just being part of Circus life. It’s a deft line that Holmes draws, never wavering, and Sycamore’s color accentuates and punctuates his message. The art alone elicits a positive response in the reader simply telling the story, words aside. But with the addition of word balloons, the ‘picture’ is complete. This is an especially good case where art propels story in a satisfying fashion. Kudos should be allotted for Holmes’ and Sycamore’s fine work.
Overall, I would highly recommend Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem.to anyone. Although the graphic novel is aimed at a younger reader base, adults can still get a nostalgic sense of passion throughout the course of the book. The zany antics of circus life pour through, entertaining as they progress. The stereotypical ‘circus tropes’ are played to the hilt and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at times. Any lover of the graphic novel as an art form would do well to give this a gander. It’s good, clean fun that provides a nice light read everyone can enjoy.