Written by Steven T. Seagle
Illustrated by Marco Cinello
Released July 25, 2012
A rare children’s book from Image, Batula is the incredibly cute story of a fruit bat who is bitten by a vampire … bat. How will his vegetarian fruit bat friends react when he starts craving meatballs?
Seagle uses the few words available in a children’s book to weave together elements of Dracula and Batman into a story of an outsider who becomes a hero. Call it the Ugly Duckling but with bats. The sharp edges get buffed off, but the core elements of vampire stories are all present and take the reader through some important lessons of finding one’s place in the world when change happens.
Cinello’s art is all two-page spreads and very expressive in style. He mixes realistic settings with the cartoony bats and works with the text to engage the reader, no matter what age. Cinello edges on scary imagry at times, but always keeps the hero front and centre.
Not only will I be getting copies of this for the children in my life, I will keep one for myself. I haven’t read the previous book by this team, Frankie Stein, but now want to dig it up for my nieces as well.
Keith is the co-host of the We Talk Comics podcast.