The Sleepy Truth
by Jason M. Burns, Erik Valdez y Alanis (Viper, 2007)

They don't have noses, there are no whites in their eyes and they only occasionally have mouths. But the teenagers who produce The Sleepy Truth, a Weekly World News-type tabloid for the small town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, are endearingly cute nonetheless.

Anyone who knows anything about American folklore will recognize Sleepy Hollow, site of the infamous Headless Horseman of bygone days. But the kids at the helm of The Sleepy Truth -- twin writers/editors Suzanne and Thomas Watson, each with a matching puzzle piece-shaped birthmark on their cheeks, plus graphic designer Mathias Newcomb and handless photographer Grant Stewart -- have much more than just pumpkin-throwing Hessians to worry about. There's Blassy, the legendary saurian living beneath a nearby lake. There are reports of ghostly Native Americans in the woods. And did a city councilman -- aptly named Cornelius Crane -- really accept financial assistance from aliens???

This book, the first in a series, looks to be a lot of fun. The writing by Jason M. Burns is high-spirited and amusing, with the right dose of tension for younger readers while still appealing to an older set. Cartoony illustrations by Erik Valdez y Alanis, enhanced by Ramon Espinoza's color work, gives the book an animated vibe that keeps the pages turning quickly.

Appropriate for all ages, volume one of The Sleepy Truth heralds even finer things in the future. I look forward to volume two.

review by
Tom Knapp

2 February 2008

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