The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, Vol. 1, by Drew Weing

If you are shopping for any middle-grade readers this year, I highly recommend the collected volumes of Drew Weing's webtoon The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo. It boasts all the joys of an 80s kids movie (distracted parents! loads of adventure! legit brushes with danger!), but—thanks to being a comic—no worries about cheesy special effects or wooden acting.

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo centers around Charles Thompson, a conservative-verging-on-uptight kid who dreams of being a reporter. When his family moves from the suburbs into the derelict hotel his father is renovating in Echo City, Charles is appalled: he doesn't like the food, the apartment, or his new neighborhood. (In a somewhat eyebrow-raising exchange, he incorrectly assumes that Kevin, the friendly Black kid next door, is offering to sell him drugs.) But when a monster comes lumbering out of Charles's closet, he realizes he has bigger problems than his parents trying to convince him to try kimchi. He needs the help of monster mediator Margo Maloo, Echo City's liason between the human children of the city and their monster equivalents.

Margo Maloo's exaggerated character design and urban setting is reminiscent of the immortal cartoon Hey Arnold!, but Weing's backgrounds are far more detailed, creating a messy, lived-in, pleasantly spooky-lite world. (Like, I want to visit the hotel Charles is living in and check out its abandoned Art Deco ballroom, because you know it has one.) I wouldn't give this series to truly little kids, who might find the monsters scary, or teenagers, who might find it beneath their dignity, but it has everything necessary to hit the 8-to-12 year old entertainment sweet spot. It's being published at a snail's pace—only three books have been published since 2016—but you can read the first story in the series and more recent chapters here, if you'd like a sneak peek before shelling out for the graphic novel editions.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

Your Comments

If you're a blogger too, give us your URL.
Used for your gravatar. Not required. Will not be public.
Use Markdown to post your comment.