Poopsheet Foundation

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STARTLED MAGGIE #1 by Meghan Hogan

The un-inked pencils of this $6 2D Cloud publication give the art a rough hewn aesthetic that’s fitting for the POV of the young protagonist. The story centers on a baby’s memories and perceptions of the world at ages 8 months, 1 year, and 2 years old. The panels are interesting choices, which are sets of static imagery depicting various moments from the mundane to the sublime, from first words and first steps to the strong bonds of family that help our young ones navigate the world. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that the fight is never really about my daughter wearing pants vs. shorts, that’s an ostensible trap, it’s really about her wanting to make her own choice and exert some control over her world. Startled Maggie begins to address this struggle of power over chaos. I thought it was interesting that, because you’re tracking the baby’s age developmentally, it plays sequential and linear even though Hogan doesn’t deal in true panel to panel storytelling in a traditional sense. At the end of it all, it’s hard not to fall prey to the charm of this book; the end shot with the dandelions is a lovely capture of the simple magic of youth. This book is marked as a #1, and I hope that’s a clue that it will continue with future installments. I was particularly impressed with the high contrast color cover, which sort of strongly wraps around the still forming contents and envelops them like the arms of a protective parent. Grade A-.

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