Comic Book Review: Cardboard by Doug TenNepal

Cardboard - Doug TenNapel

The Basics

Cam's father is out of work, and it just so happens it's Cam's birthday. Out of desperation, his father buys him some "magic cardboard" from a toy vendor. Well, it turns out it really was magic, and when he and Cam make a boxer out of cardboard, he comes to life. Wackiness ensues.

My Thoughts

The first thing I want to make clear is that I know this is middle grade. I know this wasn't written with me in mind. I've read some middle grade books before. The ones that don't talk down to their audience and create an atmosphere of fantasy and wonder can be some of the best journeys you ever take. This wasn't like that. It had fantastical elements to be sure, but it was mainly a comedy piece. Comedy... for ten year old boys.

I can't emphasize enough how far this was from my demographic, how unfunny I found it most of the time. It had its moments, but they were few and far between. Mostly I tried to immerse myself in the story, which had some good elements, and found myself dragged out of it by clumsy jokes that would have a little boy rofling and had me grunting in a curmudgeonly fashion.

Also, the story elements that were good were heavy-handed. Again, it's for little boys. I get it. But TenNapel really treated them like morons. So even realizing I should take into account that I'm older and going to notice the heaviness of the story-telling, I can't excuse it. He talks down to his audience to the point that I can't imagine a kid over five not feeling patronized.

Regardless of who this comic was meant for, I have to be honest about my rating. It was cute, but what substance it had was force-fed, and the comedy was juvenile. I'd give this to a young kid, because it suits them, but it has very little crossover value.

Final Rating