________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 9. . . .October 28, 2011


Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus.

Mike Deas.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2011.
128 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55469-800-4.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Jonine Bergen.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



"Dalen, I don't trust Rachel. We've got to get out of here, while we still can"

"She's our chance to get out of here. I'll bet if she can get us to that cannery, we can find our way home"

"Hmm, yeah, I bet the cannery might have some clues to what Tunax is up to. I just know he's up to something."


Deas, the illustrator of several successful graphic novels, including the "Graphic Guide Adventure" series, has successfully added the title of author to his curriculum vitae with Orca's publication of Dalen & Gole: Scandal in Port Angus. Deas' experience as an illustrator enables him to understand the importance of the interplay of the text and illustrations. He does not rely on the text to tell the story; indeed, many panels rely solely on the detailed facial expressions and actions of his characters to forward his tale. The simple backgrounds are also helpful in establishing the setting and mood of the plot. As a result, his graphic novel is extremely accessible to emerging and struggling readers.

internal art     Dalen and Gole are two alien buddies from Budap who love to race their jet-racers. When they lose a race under suspicious circumstances, their subsequent investigation causes them to stumble through a pipe to Earth. Soon, with the help of their new human friend, Rachel, the trio uncovers a plot involving an illegal fishing scheme in Port Angus and an attempt to create a monopoly of their home planet's fuel supply.

      Deas has created two likeable and interesting characters whose personal quirks are well used in the development of the plot. Gole is a cynical suspicious individual who does not trust easily and expects the worst in people. Indeed, Gole's suspicions concerning the race ultimately set the two friends on their course to Earth. Dalen, acting as a foil to Gole, is nave and extremely trusting; to him, everyone is a friend. It is Dalen who initially approaches Rachel and convinces Gole that she will help them. The secondary characters are equally believable, including the slimy Tunax and his equally self-serving father.

     Although the plot has a few internal inconsistencies, the mystery, interlaced with action and humour, will appeal to the graphic novel fan. It is hoped that Dalen and Gole visit Earth again soon.


Jonine Bergen is a librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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