Friday, June 6, 2008

Graphic Novel Review: In the Small by Michael Hague

In the Small by Michael Hague
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
128 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (May 1, 2008)
Amazon Price: $14.99 (usd)
ISBN-10: 0316013234
ISBN-13: 978-0316013239
Source of Book: ARC from publisher

A longtime fan of Michael Hague's illustrations (Peter Pan , The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and more), I was eager to get my hands on his newest endeavor.

In the Small is a graphic novel with a very intriguing premise. A flash of blue light strikes the Earth, killing many humans. The ones who survive are shrunk to six inches tall, and snakes, spiders, cats, birds, rats, and more now prey upon them. Teenage siblings, Mouse and Beat, set upon a mission to lead survivors back to their home where there is a greenhouse, water, and most importantly, safety. But are they really safe and for how long?

Michael Hague does not disappoint with the illustrations, and any fan of graphic novels will be impressed with his detailed, action-packed, life-like art. The story itself will intrigue many sci-fi and fantasy fans. However, I felt it was a little sparse. I yearned for more details and more character development. People get killed in the story, but as I was reading, I honestly hadn't had the opportunity to get to know them enough to really feel anything except, "well, that's unfortunate that the bird got her." The story also only focuses on Mouse and Beat's story, and I wondered what was going on in the rest of the world. Aside from this, I do think that many kids who are into graphic novels will like this, especially since the cliffhanger ending leaves us wanting more.


  1. Hey- This is Michael's son, Devon, that also worked on the book. Just wanted to thank you for the well written and honest review.

    The original draft of the book was actually quite a bit longer (could have easily been 300+ pages). It was also directed more towards and older teen/adult audience. What we are planning on, if we get to do more with this series, is taking a more Sandman sort of approach, putting out collections of short stories that take place in the aftermath of this, all around the world, and at different times (one story we have takes place 150 years after). It will give us a chance to get more character development and really focus in on a few stories we have been toying around with since we finished this first one.

    We are currently working on a couple of brand new series. One is a scifi robots and monsters series that has the mystery elements of Lost thrown in as well. The other is about a young girl who discovers she has a third eye and her investigation into a murder mystery in Manhattan. We have about 6 or 7 other ideas that are in the ideation stage as well. We also just finished work on an awesome upcoming collection of ghost stories, that quite honestly could be some of the best work I have seen my father do. Anyhoo, great work on your blog! Have a lovely day!

    Devon Hague

  2. Hi Devon,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comment. The follow-up stories to "In the Small" really sound interesting as do all of your other ideas in the works. I can't wait to check out the collection of ghost stories...when can we expect to see them?

  3. I have to wonder if this short story, found on the web and written in 2000, isn't a better treatment of the same subject matter.