Chimichanga

Being a fan of Eric Powell I ordered a copy of Chimichanga, not quite knowing what it was.

When Wrinkle’s Traveling Circus’s adorable little bearded girl trades a lock of her magic beard hair for a witch’s strange egg, she stumbles upon what could be the saving grace for her ailing freak show–the savory-named beast Chimichanga!

  • Writer: Eric Powell
  • Artist: Eric Powell
  • Colorist: Dave Stewart
  • Cover Artist: Eric Powell
  • Genre: Humor
  • Publication Date: September 07, 2011
  • Format: FC, 104 pages, HC, 6″ x 9″
  • Price: $14.99
  • Age range: 8
  • ISBN-10: 1-59582-755-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-59582-755-5
  • Publisher: Dark Horse

This is billed as a humour story for children eight and up.  The story is very straightforward with that Powell sensibility: a bearded girl finds a monster and takes it back with her to the circus.  She encounters a witch that later makes a deal with a pharmaceutical company; in the process she’s kidnapped and eventually is freed by her monster. It’s witty and a light enjoyable read.  The story is well told not only through the snappy dialogue but the rich and entertaining expressions and images of the characters themselves.

     

The art is top-notch and is the main vehicle for the story.  Characters are unique and easily identifiable.  How can you not love Powell’s timeless style?  Plus he does a great clown!

     

Originally published as a three issue black and white mini-series by Albatross Exploding Funny Books, Chimichanga was given the full colour treatment by Dave Stewart.  He did a wonderful job, giving the pages a depression era feel with toned down colours.

Unfortunately this book doesn’t hit the mark as a children’s story or an adult tale.  The villain is a pharmaceutical CEO in a suit who employs lawyers to do his bidding, more men in suits.  Casting big business corporate America as the villain of a children’s story would leave them scratching their heads: with everyone else is visually unique and colourful, why do we have a normal looking guy in a suit?  If that was casting for the adult audience then the rest of the story is too child focused.

There are a ton of extras, including a new eight page story and many character development studies with notes from Powell.  It’s in that 6×9″ format that every publisher feels is perfect for children’s or all ages comics, yet still retailing for $15.  Chimichanga holds appeal for all ages of comic readers but ultimately fails to define itself.

Scott VanderPloeg

669 Posts. Currently Editor-In-Chief of Comic Book Daily. Scott VanderPloeg works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.