Enthralling gem is well framed;Books

26th February 1999 at 00:00
TES Primary examines the appeal of comic-strip characters

By far the best of the recent Graffix series of graphic novels from Aamp;C Black (pound;3.99 each) is Roy Kane TV Detective by Steve Bowkett, illustrated by David Burroughs. This entertaining tale opens with the theft of the Kay-to-Bah Diamond, once the centrepiece of a Pharaoh's crown.

The framing and perspectives of the strips make the most of the black-and-white medium, rather than acting as an apology for colour or - as is sadly the case in other titles in this series - being anaemic and wishy-washy backdrops for over-dominant speech bubbles.

The story has enough subtexts, from schoolboy rivalry to a feminine sense of being used, to make this a graphic gem that will enthral readers aged nine and up.

Michael Thorn is deputy headteacher of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex

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