Comic-A-Week March 27-April 2 – Hereville by Barry Deutsch

Hereville: How Mirka Got her Sword was, in one word, charming. It’s a sweet comic described as “Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl” and if that doesn’t make you smile, well, I don’t know what will.

Mirka, obsessed with fighting dragons, one day finds a mysterious home in her small, orthodox community that she has never seen before. This fact alone makes it unusual, but most unusual of all is the fact that there is a pig in the front yard. Mirka and her siblings don’t even know what a pig is, since, of course, they practice orthodox Judaism. I don’t want to give away anything, but eventually something to do with this pig means that Mirka gets a wish. What does she wish for? To fight a troll. But you and I have read fairy tales and we know it’s never quite that simple.

There are a lot of things to love about Mirka and her story. I loved the integration of orthodox customs and the Yiddish words that were sprinkled throughout the text. I LOVED the unexpected role of Mirka’s step-mother in the plot. Most of all, I loved Mirka herself. She is 11. She can be selfish, she can be stubborn, she can be kind, she can be wild.

As for the art, I think I really do like black and white work better, but the subdued tones of Mirka’s world were subtle and lovely. The panels are fun and meaningful and Deutsch included at the end a series of panels that show the way he drew all the different designs for the troll. I love extras like this in comics!

So go read this!:  now| tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR

things mean a lot, 1330V, The Boston Bibliophile, Beth Fish Reads, Welcome to my Tweendom, Bart’s Bookshelves, Madigan Reads and Great Kid Books all have posts on Hereville. Do you? Link to it in the comments and I’ll add your post here.