Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bugsy Malone: The graphic novel of the iconic mobster movie - Alan Parker

Bugsy Malone Graphic Novel
by Alan Parker

Bugsy Malone is not every parent's cup of tea. A comic book based on a musical about gangsters, the roles performed by children, it has all the makings of inappropriate, but it got a G rating. In our politically correct times, this book might not be acceptable to every parent, but I dislike censoring what kids read, so here goes.

Personally I think of gangster noir as an education and just a different kind of culture - just as I wouldn't think twice about letting them read a slice of history that included jouhar or sati. What's a childhood without some introduction to crime, I say! Just kidding.

Getting back to the tale - it's a speakeasy in downtown New York - good luck with explaining what a speakeasy is to the kids. Mine quite enjoyed the entire secrecy surrounding it and the password needed to enter. On one side you have Fat Sam and gang, on the other, Dandy Dan and his mobsters. Blousey Brown is a starlet hoping for a break while our man Bugsy Malone, is the star.

The content stays fairly child-friendly, with insults ranging from knucklehead to dope. Even the guns they shoot, go splat, instead of killing. A gang war involves a pie fight.

While there is plenty a child will not understand about gang wars and their motivations, it is on the whole, a fun read. The panels are constantly changing and action packed, giving it almost a film-like pace. The art work is fantastic and very reminiscent of the 70s. Unfortunately they've chosen to give them a washed out retro feel.

The Bean at eight had trouble following the panels at time for their slightly haphazard arrangement. The Brat on the other hand, at ten was a lot more interested simply for it's unusual content. This one is a classic that I hope they will come back to over the years.

[image source: amazon.com]

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