Heroes & Villains: James Kolchalka’s ‘Johnny Boo And The Silly Blizzard’ is Fun For All Ages

This week, if there were to be a theme for Heroes & Villains it would be snow. Where I live in REDACTED, Michigan has been dealing with unfairly frigid temperatures as well as almost every variety of snow possible. I’ve been rediscovering the joys of snow shoveling and pondering how small a driveway is too small to justify owning a snowblower.

It’s best to just stay inside and read comics.

Johnny Boo and the Silly Blizzard
James Kolchalka (W/A)
Top Shelf

It feels like it was just recently that I wrote about Kolchalka’s Monkey vs Robot: The Complete Epic, but I consulted the archives and saw that it was during October of last year. Now, 2020 was terrible across the board, but for some reason the last couple of months were just FOOTAGE MISSING in my brain.

Rest assured that everything I wrote about Kolchalka’s work back then is still true today! Maybe even doubly so!

Here’s the blurb for Johnny Boo and the Silly Blizzard:

James Kochalka’s beloved Eisner-award-winning series takes a wintry turn as Johnny Boo and Squiggle discover the delights of eating snow—and the importance of staying warm!

Kids love to eat snow! It looks a lot like ice cream… hey, maybe it really IS ice cream! Johnny Boo and Squiggle are excited to find out, unless the Ice Cream Monster eats it all first. Armed with his gigantic and mighty Ice Cream Fork, he seems unstoppable… until all that cold snow in his tummy knocks him down for the count. Can Johnny Boo and Squiggle warm up their frozen frenemy with mittens from their secret mitten box? Or will they get lost in the silly blizzard forever? Don’t worry, this snow day is guaranteed a very happy ending!

One of the nice things about doing this column is that the books I write about have a way of appearing right when I need them to. While it’s not always the case, there’s very little preplanning that goes into the writing of these things (It shows – Ed.) (I didn’t write that – Real Ed!) and the columns are usually the result of some pretty sweaty last minute planning on my part.

As I discussed up top, Michigan is solidly in the clutches of winter’s icy talons at the moment and a book about how nice snow can be is the perfect antidote for that. Especially when it’s enjoyed inside where it’s warm and preferably under a blanket or two. This book is doing a hell of a lot more to keep me warm than DC’s Future State books are (I don’t have a fireplace in my house where I can burn them for heat.)

Johnny Boo and the Silly Blizzard is one of those “fun for all ages!” books that definitely made something click in my brain. Longtime readers of H&V may recall that I am new to the uncle game and while my sister’s kid isn’t quite old enough for comics yet, I’ve resolved to start stockpiling comic books for them. Since I have no children of my own, I feel the need to project my likes and interests onto my sister’s kid…to ensure they turn out as cool as me. My motivations are rarely anything other than self-serving.

Johnny Boo and the Silly Blizzard is out this month from Top Shelf.

Crazy Old Hermit

I had thought about turning the bottom half of my column into space to blog about the perils of homeownership since I’ve already had one minor disaster in my basement (it was poo-related…it’s always poo). But then I thought back on listening to other people talk about their housing plans and how my eyes would always glaze over…and I thought better of it.

Don’t think that I couldn’t turn “I hate the tile floor in my bathroom, I should get a hammer and do something about it” into a whole-ass column…because I could and I still may.

It was announced last week that the company I work for (REDACTED & Sons) had decided that they’re cool with their employees working from home forever. Going so far as to sublease portions of their building out that were previously inhabited by us. My day job is, in a sense, writing based and I had been working from home intermittently pre-pandemic so this affects me very little.

I’m not going to say I did a touchdown dance when the announcement was made, but I will say that I was not incredibly enthused by the prospect of going back into a building and being in close quarters with hundreds of other people. The mind goes back to the various occasions of seeing who does and does not wash their hands after a trip to the restroom. On a more serious note, my parents are on no less than three different waiting lists to get vaccinated presently so who knows when I’ll be able to get jabbed. The last year has been filled with an omnipresent anxiety over them getting sick because of something I potentially could have brought into their home.

So begins my hermitage. I’m right on the bubble right now of being the “he was a quiet man, kept to himself…” guy in the neighborhood. I venture out once a week for supplies and generally only under the cover of darkness. No one goes in, no one goes out etc. I’m pretty sure I had been here for weeks before my neighbors realized there was someone new living here. I can’t wait until they see that I have more than one cat!

This is only going to get weirder.

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