Wumps are adorable. At least, that’s one thing I’ve remembered about this book over the years. That and the underlying them. You see, when I ended up choosing The First Forest on Earth Day, there was antoher book I was considering. If it wasn’t longer than the other, I might’ve read both. I probably still could have, I simply chose not to at that point. However, The Wump World by Bill Peet is eminently more suited to Earth Day than The First Forest.
It’s a simple enough story: a planet of peaceful wumps is minding its own business and out of nowhere come the Pollutians to colonize it. The not-so-subtle name is far more permissible here, in a children’s picture book, than in a blockbuster movie. Looking at you, unobtainium. Anyway, it’s a sad but hopeful little story about the poor, innocent, and scared wumps and the obliviously self-centered Pollutians. I don’t even think the two races realize the other exists throughout the book, which at least means one isn’t intentionally subjugating and scarring the other. Of course, that might be a bit intense for this book.
When I say The Wump World is longer than The First Forest, I mean that each spread of pages usually has a paragraph of text instead of a sentence or two. Not a huge difference, but a noticeable one for picture books.
Now, as you may or may not know, today was the first Saturday in May. The day of the Kentucky Derby and, more importantly, Free Comic Book Day! And what kind of reader would I be if I stayed home on a day like today? That’s why I went to not one but two different comic shops. The first is the same one I went to last year. North of me and closer to where I used to live, but has a good environment and I enjoyed dealing with them. The second is south and in the town I moved to. I’d never been there before today, but I will definitely have to return when I have a significant chunk of time. The word for the second store is “tonnage.” I’d hate to see what the fire marshal says of towers of trade paperbacks and hardcovers, groaning shelves and racks, all stretching all the way to the back of the store with only a single narrow, twising aisleway to walk in…but I say it definitely needs a closer examination when fewer people are around.
Here you’ll see photos of my loot and purchases. I could easily have brought home far more, but just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s worth my time. Ditto for sale items. Hint: the only things I bought were Power Rangers: Aftershock, Samurai Jack Classics: Volume 1, and The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. I got a lot of promo items this year through sheer luck.
I started off by reading James Cameron’s Avatar/Brian Wood’s Briggs Land. I’ll tell you now that I’ve never heard of Briggs Land before and from what I can tell it’s post-apocalyptic and therefore of little interest to me. I suspect that, like Avatar, it’s meant to build off of something else that already exists and familiarity is assumed. Since I lack that foreknowledge, the entire short is wasted on me.
The Avatar story, on the other hand, is a short scene that I have always felt was cut from the movie. It is brief, as I mentioned, and shows Jake Sully becoming Toruk Mak’to, Rider of Last Shadow. He spends the entire time reflecting about his dead brother. To be honest…it’s not a super exciting comic. This comic has no good reason to exist. If it had made it into the movie, it would probably be like that scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where the Hungarian Horntail breaks its chain and flies around the castle chasing Harry. Totally unnecessary, but cool to watch and a great way for the movie to show off its visuals. I’ll hang onto the comic for now, but if I ever need to cut down on my collection, this’ll be an easy choice to get rid of.