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Funny Books - Bo Nanas: Monkey Meets World - John Kovaleski

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Bo Nanas Monkey Meets World
John Kovaleski
Andrews McMeel 2005
127 pages

Monkey Meets World is the first collection of the Bo Nanas comic strip. John Kovaleski has created a strip that wants to be for the whole family about a monkey who lives in the city in an apartment he rents from his perpetually curler coiffed landlord Mrs. Yannes. It is your basic innocent soul meets the real world kind of strip and it doesn't really work.

First off, the art in Monkey Meets World is not particularly interesting. Perhaps it is because Bo Nanas' ears are borrowed from Prince Charles, perhaps it is because there is a dichotomy between the panel size and the size of the various drawings in it, perhaps because too often Kovaleski only draws the top half of the monkey's face and parks it at the bottom of the frame, perhaps it is because although the Sunday comic is often pretty decent, the three or four panel daily strips collected here do not really break new ground humor or observation wise, perhaps it is because the Bo Nanas world doesn't seem to have quite gelled yet so neither John Kovaleski nor Bo Nanas have found their voice yet, and perhaps I could find a few more things to comment negatively on if I tried hard enough, but this strip really does not tickle my fancy.

There are some artistically interesting panels in this comic strip collection and there are a few well written and well planned strips and jokes here. The three strips dealing with Bo Nanas returning a book to the library or the series where the monkey wins a stuffed bear at a fair and decides to set him free in the woods are quite interesting and funny. Unfortunately, this is not something that happens frequently enough in this collection.

Bo Nanas do not appeal (pun intended).



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