Bumperboy Loses His Marbles

    (AdHouse, 2005)
™ and © AdHouse

Bumperboy of Bubtopia wants to compete in the big marble championship, but all of his marbles are missing! His most important marble, given to him by his grandmother, has also been stolen and is in possession of his arch-nemesis—who plans to use it in the championship! Will Bumperboy and his loyal, canine companion, Bumperpup, retrieve all of his marbles in time? Debbie Huey’s straight-faced humor, simple character design and minimalist detail, create the stylistic appeal of a trendy comic strip. But the clean and charming story makes this a graphic novel for kids and adults alike.

— Jillian Burcar

From the Comics Buyer’s Guide:

The publisher calls this an all-ages book, but it can’t seem to decide whether it truly is all-ages or just for kids: a difference some creators don’t seem to grasp. Debbie Huey is one of them. While her story has a cute kind of charm, it wanders back and forth between being something that adults would truly enjoy or simply read to their children.

Bumperboy is a marbles player extraordinaire, who—guess what?—loses his marbles before the big tournament. Literally, that is, not figuratively, although Huey makes that joke repeatedly. Which is symptomatic of this book’s weakness: youngsters likely won’t get the joke, and adults have heard the cliché too many times to find it funny. And there’s no message being sent to the kids, and no discernable plot for anyone else. Bumperboy finds his marbles, and, well, the tournament goes on. Then the tournament ends. The end. Woof.

This would have been better had its aim been consistent. As it stands, though, it’s not much more filling than a Smurfs cartoon. For adults or kids.

— Jim Johnson

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