Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Today's read... Crabgrass: Comic Adventures by Tauhid Bondia

I seem to have a few comics/graphic novel collections for middle grade boys this month...and isn't that exciting?! I think the world would be a better place with more h-packed tales for middle grade boys. I'm already a fan of Big Nate and Jesper Jinx and am always on the lookout for stories about boys, their best friends, and the adventures they have when facing the world...because boys just have a amazing sense of nonsense, which girls don't. And that's important not to ignore.

Anyway, this one comes out next week, so it won't be long before you can get your hands on it yourself.

by Tauhid Bondia
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Middle Grade Humor / Graphic Novel
192 pages 
ages 8 to 12


Through its heartwarming, wry, and relatable comic episodes, Crabgrass explores the timeless subject of friendship between two boys growing up in the 1980s.

Crabgrass is a comic strip set in the fictional town of Crabgrass Drive, and chronicles the close friendship of Kevin, who is white, and Miles, who is black, and the many stumbles and breakthroughs they encounter growing up together. The main characters exemplify the resilience of the bonds we form when we are young, and are a reminder of why we remember those times fondly. Crabgrass is also a thrilling exploration of the adventures and mischief that children can get into when allowed to roam.

Set in an ambiguous time before cellphones and the internet, the strip finds a way to connect to the old and the young without alienating either. Crabgrass explores the same youthful themes of friendship and adventure as Calvin and Hobbesand the humor, warmth, and innocence will appeal to readers of bestselling middle grade series like Phoebe and Her Unicorn and Big Nate.



Friendship...with all of its amazing moments and not so amazing ones...bursts through with adventure, discovery, and humor pure, reminding readers how unforgettably wonderful it truly is. 

The author begins with a quick foreword, which grounds this series back into the 1980's and exposes the main thrust behind these pages: friendship and every remarkable (and unexpected_ moment that means for a pair of boys in middle school. So, while this one is definitely set for middle grade readers, adults will quickly find themselves smirking and snorting as they relive moments from the childhood, too. The humor crosses that generation threshold and promises laughs from all ages. 

Kevin and Miles are quite the pair and have the entire world neighborhood as their playground. Their adventurous spirit, never-ending ideas, and imagination bring endless possibilities...even when most don't end up quite the way they'd hoped. Most of the 'adventures' are super short and sweet, hitting only a page or two, and leaving with a snort or laugh, and tons of heart-warming nods. It's a read to pick up, put down, and grab up again, never knowing what the two will do next. 

The illustrations are bright, bold, and let the twists of reality versus expectation hit full force with a tad bit more to make the humor sit. The characters' expressions meet at the right times to jab in the last needed impact, and make them seem like the kid next door. 

Fans of Big Nate will want to take a peek into Crabgrass, too, because if these two ever came together...yeah, that'd be every boy's dream and parent's nightmare.

And here he is...

Tauhid Bondia grew up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. A budding young artist and an early fan of comic strips, he spent many hours at the local library reading comic strip collections. His first serious attempt at drawing a serialized strip would come in 1993 when his comic “High School Daze” was published in his high school newspaper.

Tauhid briefly attended Murray State University on a Fine Arts Scholarship and went on to become a graphic designer. His days were spent designing logos for local companies and events while his nights were spent working on a variety of comic projects which were published on the web. These webcomics remained a passionate hobby for him for the next 20 years, however he would become most widely known for his strip “A Problem Like Jamal,” which first appeared on GoComics.com (an AMU website) in July 2018.

In 2019, Tauhid decided to end "A Problem Like Jamal" and (with the help of his wife) developed the idea for Crabgrass. His hopes of finally becoming a syndicated cartoonist were fulfilled as the strip was selected for development by Andrews McMeel not long after. Over the course of its development, Crabgrass has enjoyed a devout following on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Tauhid currently lives in Hodgenville (one town over from his childhood home) with his wife, 3 cats, and 2 dogs.

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