Graphic Novel Review: “Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Middle-Route Run” by Ben Costa and James Parks

Rickety Stitch, the bard skeleton, and his trusty friend Goo are seeking the ancient city of Epoli, where they hope to discover the secret of Rickety’s past. Unfortunately, the city isn’t there anymore, and the only way to reach where it used to be is to brave the perilous Middle-Route Run. And at this rate, Rickety Stitch and Goo will be lucky if they even make it to the Run before attracting a whole lot of trouble.

I know what you might be thinking: “I have no interest in reading a graphic novel about a singing skeleton and a lump of sentient goo.” I’m here to tell you, reader, that you actually do want to read this graphic novel! Not that I am unsympathetic to your skepticism – I imagine it was for similar reasons that I missed reading the first installment of this graphic novel series. Luckily, the story was engaging enough that I was able to jump into volume two with little trouble.

The first thing that caught my attention about The Middle-Route Run was the lively energy bursting off of every page. The book is almost cinematic in its kinetic action panels – sword fights, daring escapes, and death-defying feats are just a few of the obstacles Rickety Stitch and Goo must face in their travels.

At the same time, I was intrigued by the narrative that framed all of these near-misses: uncovering the secret of Rickety Stitch’s origins. Secret cities? Ancient relics? Mysterious knights? A lively sing-along? It’s hard not to get drawn into the friends’ quest. If I had one complaint, it’s that we don’t actually advance very far in terms of what we learn about Rickety Stitch’s past. Each kernel of knowledge is hard-won, so much so that by the end we don’t know that much more than when we started, even if we had a lot of fun along the way.

So, yes, take it from me – you should take a chance on the gelatinous goo and his bony friend. You’re sure to be glad you did!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Random House, for review.