More of a 3.5 than three personally, and a higher rating for other audiences. Salt Water Taffy: The Legend of Old Salty
has brothers Jack and Benny moving up to Chowder Bay, only to discover strange goings on in the form of a legend of Old Salty. Taffy stealing lobsters, a briny old seafarer, and a mysterious agent keep them all on their toes with plenty of humor and charm.
The artwork has very clear and distinct lines, making it easy for younger readers to see what's going on. Loux's style is very angular and, while not always perfectly realistic, has a great sense of movement and stylized motion that keeps the landscape artwork popping with interest. I'm really impressed with his sense of balance in black and white. The only drawback I could think of is that it sometimes makes Jack and Benny appear much older than they are.
The story is charming. Jack is the older, more jaded of the brothers who wants nothing more than to play with his Gameboy or watch TV. Benny is the younger and more gullible of the pair. Their relationship, while typical, is rendered in a realistic fashion that never feels rushed or expository. The fact that the story takes time to have them bicker or do silly brotherly things like jumping on each other is a sign of a well plotted story.
The humor comes in various types, from Jack's outlandish ideas on capturing Old Salty, to some absurdest plots, such as lobsters stealing taffy or seagulls dressing up like secret agents
, which has something for everyone. For graphic novel readers, this is the kind of quirky Oni Press fare that makes the company such a quality publisher.
For reluctant readers who want adventures with some lighthearted humor in it, this is a fantastic read to hand them. It's wonderful fun.