Eric's Comic Review: Takio Vol. 1
Published: March 3, 2011 - 9:31am
Takio is a new all ages offering from Powers creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Oeming. Bendis' Daughter Olivia also helped to develop the title. What results is a book that is evocative as it is cute, fun, and funny. It is good! Despite being marketed as an all ages title, there are some pretty dark and heavy subjects within. Death, adoption, divorce, and loss of friends are all presented to some degree within the book, but are conveyed subtly enough to grant some discussion with the little one your reading to.
Such classics as Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or E.B. White's Charlotte's Web explore the darker recesses of humanity in very much the same tone. That means there are a lot of lessons that can be taught with this offering while sharing the story. Thus, Takio can work as more than passing entertainment and as a source of engagement with children. This is not to say that the volume is not entertaining. The younger sister Olivia had me laughing out lout. Her enthusiasm is infectious and works well to buffer the misgivings of her adopted sister. In Taki, Bendis very much captured the bittersweet pendulum that swings between child and adult during adolescence. The progression of the characters is real throughout with a balance of emotion and personality. One can tell that the writer put a lot of feeling into this. His daughter's touch is felt throughout.
Oeming backs the script like the champ that he is with nicely stylized illustrations. I loved the relatively big mouths on the characters that made each expression larger than life. There's no question as to what is felt in each panel. This makes Olivia's comedy that much more funny and gives the reader a sense of empathy for Taki's anguish and overall development. The use of shadow tells a story of its own by framing the darker elements of the book with a certain omnipresence. The art is super explicit as to the motivations and emotions within the comic, which works perfectly for the title as a whole.
I write this review not only as a fan, but as a father who enjoys reading comics to his 4 year old daughter. Power Pack and Super Friends have become a staple of her education as she learns to read and to become (hopefully) a good person. I'm glad to add Takio to the list of titles that can work toward both of those goals. It's funny, sad, and thought provoking like any good classic should be. It also embraces its moniker by truly being for all ages. I got something out of reading this as well. This quality combined with a package that includes a hard cover and a Mike Oeming sketchbook is practically a steal at under ten dollars US. The ending did everything but blatantly state that Volume 2 will be coming at some point, which makes me even more excited after an amazing first outing.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis & Olivia Bendis
Art: Michael Avon Oeming & Nick Filardi
Cover: Michael Avon Oeming & Nick Filardi
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