Words: Shaun Simon
Pictures: Tyler Jenkins
Neverboy is a head trippy, Peter Pan/Toy Story on acid kind of book, and I dig it a lot. Not that I think “Head Trippy Peter Pan/Toy Story on Acid” is an actual genre, but Neverboy #1 makes a good case to be the first of its kind.
Neverboy is the tale of an imaginary friend who has lost his friend. It’s sad, and touching and trippy, and funny, and plays with your perceptions as well as emotions. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of when the dreamer has gone away. There is a sense of desperation just under the surface of Neverboy that I think everyone can connect with; that deep desire to belong, to be a part of something, to be loved.
I’ve read Neverboy #1 three times now, and I’m sure I’ll read it many more. It took me totally by surprise. Neverboys sense of loss that Shaun is able to convey is palpable. And Tyler does an amazing job of running us through the emotions of Neverboy visually. From the somewhat playful opening encounter in the hospital, to the sheer joy of creating an entire universe, to the terror that his family is literally slipping away, to the utter heartbreak when that loss becomes real.
It’s weird how much I like this book. I never really had an imaginary friend growing up. (I do have vague recollections of my Mom telling me I had a frog that lived in my pocket, but I think that was more a one off cute story than me actually creating an imaginary friend.) But if you did, you absolutely need to read this book. Then I suggest you do your best to reconnect with them. Because as real as that relationship was for you when you were young, it may have been their whole reality.
Neverboys adventures are just starting, and I can’t wait to see where Shaun and Tyler take my new buddy.
4.75 out of 5 Pocket Frogs