Monday, August 18, 2008

Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident by George McClements - review

Battling the giant flying fish in 3D
Originally uploaded by your neighborhood librarian

In my house, after dinner, there is frequently a game called Dad Dad Mister Mad.

You may have a game like this in your house too.

My husband is Dad Dad Mister Mad, who takes on different identities every night: The Evil X, The Flying Velociraptor, Larry Jenkins, to name but a few. My boys (the two on the right in this picture) are the good guys, naturally. The one in the middle is frequently a double agent of some kind. One night he was an arms dealer who intentionally sold a defective weapon to The Evil X, so that his brother would have an advantage in the final battle.

It's good imaginative fun, although now that they've been watching the Olympics and have been exposed to Greco-Roman wrestling, I have suggested that my husband buy himself a cup. Those kids are getting bigger.

The part I love the most is prior to the action. The three of them sit together and plot out the night's adventure in some detail before they begin. My husband has found that it's better to be pro-active than reactive when it comes to superheroic misunderstandings.

The same can be said for Baron von Baddie and his arch-enemy, Captain Kapow. No matter how nefarious the plans of evil genius Baron von Baddie, Captain Kapow always thwarts them, saves the day, and puts Baron von Baddie in the clink.

Until one day, when, completely by accident, Baron von Baddie - wins. Captain Kapow is out of the action! The Baron can eat all the doughnuts he wants!

But, just as my heroes would be bored without the evil Dad Dad Mister Mad to thwart, Baron von Baddie becomes sick of doughnuts, uses his genius to restore Captain Kapow, and, after a brief jail term contemplating his evil ways, resumes them with gusto.

I probably do not need to add that George McClements's toothy, tactile collage illustrations are inventive and engaging - you know that already. But I will say that I just love the Baron. With his shiny black rubber gloves, dark goggles, necktie, and shock of black hair, he is a tiny little baddie for the ages. Like a little Victor von Frankenstein, or Dr. Lizardo in Buckaroo Banzai.



George M said...

Thank you for your kind review.
I am glad to hear that the role of bad guy is a universal dad role.

Go Evil!

YNL said...

Love the Evil. Married the Evil, after all!