Yotsuba&! v. 8-9
Written & Illustrated by Kiyohiko Azuma
Translated by Amy Forsyth
Lettered by Terri Delgado
Published by Yen Press
When I get a new comic, it gets slotted onto the bottom of my towering to-read pile. The exception to that rule is Usagi Yojimbo, which I always read immediately when a new book emerges. If I were to make two exceptions, Yotsuba&! might be the second such title.
Each chapter is titled “Yotsuba & something“, and that chapter follows our youthful protagonist as she, wide-eyed and full of wonder, explores the world around her. With absolutely hilarious results. In these two books, Yotsuba attends a school festival where her friend and neighbor’s class is distributing cake. She flies in a hot air balloon. Opposites, teddy bears, restaurants, typhoons and schedules also find their way into Yotsbuba’s inquisitive, excitable gaze.
Kiyohiko Azuma is a master at blending slapstick timing with innocent, childish enthusiasm. Yotsuba’s continual amazement and delight make her appear too young for her age, but Azuma’s ability to play the rest of the cast off her reactions only makes every situation that much funnier. With its warmth, affection and gee-whiz humor, Yotsuba&! stands out as something totally unique on comic shelves today. It’s easily one of the best books I’m reading, and well worth checking out.