Captain Pistol's Paradise

"The World's First Cartoon Opera"

Fiction - Graphic Novel/Comic
118 Pages
Reviewed on 02/21/2020
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Rowland B. Wilson was a famous cartoonist for the New Yorker, Esquire and Playboy magazines and an artist at Walt Disney on The Little Mermaid, Treasure Planet,Hercules, Tarzan and Atlantis and others. His hand-drawn Captain Pistol books are a culmination of both careers, combining encapsulated humor with the action of an unfolding full-length story.
Suzanne Lemieux Wilson, an award-winning artist who has exhibited paintings internationally is a Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America. She was Design Consultant for Walt Disney Studios and Concept Artist at Fox Animation, with film credits for Thumbelina, Anastasia, Bartok The Magnificent and Titan AE. Her book, Rowland B. Wilson's Trade Secrets, is a compilation of Rowland's notes and techniques.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Captain Pistol’s Paradise is a cartoon and graphic novel penned by Rowland B. Wilson with Suzanne Lemieux Wilson. As a cartoonist, and an illustrator for Walt Disney, Rowland B. Wilson lends his skills here to his own highly amusing tale of a pirate who falls in love with the image of a woman on a poster and decides to settle in a tropical environment whilst he finds her. The woman in question is Madame Moo, a laundress who rises to unexpected stardom on the stage, but Captain Pistol is not the only one vying for her hand. The plot follows the operatic style of overdramatized characters and romantic entanglements to reach its highly amusing conclusion.

Described as ‘The World’s First Cartoon Opera’, it is easy to see where author and illustrative team Rowland B. Wilson and Suzanne Lemieux Wilson gained the inspiration for the crazy hijinks of their plot, which is filled with great imagery and inventive puns that are sure to keep you giggling throughout the story. The names of the characters alone are worth a guffaw (Don Juan Fiasco Y Tabasco and Smellez LaFeete to name my favorites), and the antics that they get themselves into produce a cast of wild characters with unpredictable energy and highly amusing motivations. The island of Bananazu is actually very well developed and thought out as the idyllic backdrop for all the hectic goings-on, and overall Captain Pistol’s Paradise is sure to be a fun coffee table adventure read that adults can pick up and enjoy again and again.

Edith Wairimu

In the picturesque island of Bananazu, whose fertile volcanic soil produces the golden banana and whose banana oil is transported across the world, Captain C. Jasper Corkscrewe, a cunning impresario, is intrigued by a beautiful woman working as a laundress and who is part of an undistinguished troupe of comedians. He paints Madam Moo’s image on a poster that finds its way to the Isle of Pinappoli. When Captain Jack Pistol, a wealthy ship captain and former pirate, sees the poster, he is enchanted by Madam Moo and travels to Bananazu. Amazed at her entrancing beauty, he approaches her on stage but everything goes wrong after their love story begins. Captain Pistol's Paradise by Rowland B. Wilson follows their misadventures as they are caught up in the politics, business and buzzing, vibrant life of Bananazu.

Captain Pistol and Madam Moo’s love story is captivating, beginning with divorce as it moves towards the hope of marriage. The chaos surrounding them intensifies and makes the story suspenseful. It is also filled with humor such as when Madam Moo rises to stardom and many fall over each other to see her. The colorful, comical illustrations bring the scenes to life and add humor to the work. The eccentric cast of characters include Lolo La Bowwow, who is willing to do anything to get a husband, and Smellez LaFeete, her villain brother, to add to the work’s uniqueness. Captain Pistol's Paradise: "The World's First Cartoon Opera" by Rowland B. Wilson is a funny, absorbing graphic novel that fans of the genre will enjoy.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Captain Pistol's Paradise by Rowland B Wilson is "The World's First Cartoon Opera." A once-swashbuckling pirate, Captain Jack Pistol made his money in the days when you could keep it. Falling in love with a picture of a beautiful woman, Jack finds himself on an isolated island, a ‘banana republic’ called Bananazu. In pursuit of the beautiful Madame Mona Mercy Moo, Jack finds himself slap-bang in the center of a rivalry for her affections against Captain Corkscrewe and Don Juan Fiasco Y Tabasco. Jack is determined to win but Lola La Bowwow gets in his way, along with her brother, the dangerous Smellez La Feete. Along the way, Jack meets El Supremo, the Bananazu leader who makes all the rules, until the day he slips on a banana peel and changes them all. What will become of Bananazu then? Can Jack really win the day and win Mona Mercy Moo as his bride? And is this really just another day in paradise or something more?

Captain Pistol’s Paradise: “The World’s First Cartoon Opera" by Rowland B Wilson is sheer magic, a real work of art. It may be a cartoon book but it isn’t for a younger audience, that’s for sure. The illustrations are fantastic, really catching your eye when you start reading and the story is clever, funny, and very current, covering marriage, divorce and more. You can almost hear the singing bananas while you read! This is a unique piece of work with an eclectic mix of characters with fabulous names; the whole book shows the depths of Rowland’s imagination and will definitely appeal to adults of all ages. You won't be able to stop reading it.

Rabia Tanveer

Captain Pistol's Paradise: "The World's First Cartoon Opera" by Rowland B. Wilson is the story of a retired pirate who is trying to woo the woman of his dreams. He may be retired from his pirating ways, but he is not afraid of going on a new adventure. So when Captain Pistol gets to the Island of Bananazu, he knows he has hit the jackpot, especially when he meets the beautiful Madame Moo. She is beautiful and graceful, everything he dreams of in a wife. He wants to woo her and make her his wife, but two competitive theater owners want her to work for them. As if that wasn’t enough, a brother and sister duo seems to be looking for trouble and Captain Pistol is caught between it all. There is drama, there is romance, there is action and there is adventure. When you join Captain Pistol on a new journey, you know it is bound to be a bumpy yet thrilling ride.

This is an interesting and very entertaining graphic novel for people who want a good story with plenty of adventure and great pictures to accompany the story. This is perfect for teenagers or even adults who are interested in comic books. The story is unique and very different. I found the layout to be interesting; it was easy to keep the flow of the story and kept my mind alert. The illustrations were beautiful and they incorporated well into the story. I enjoyed the bickering between Captain Corkscrewe and Don Juan Fiasco Y Tabasco. They added an element of humor to the story while Madame Moo and Captain Pistol kept the main story going. The humor is on-point, the story is great and I can easily imagine future volumes with even more interesting content. The setting is incredibly detailed, the images are rich and the overall theme of the story makes it a perfect quick read.

Marta Tandori

With blunders, bloopers and pratfalls galore, Captain Pistol’s Paradise is a delicious romp of sleazy debauchery by renowned cartoonist Rowland Wilson and award-winning artist Suzanne Lemieux. Captain Jack Fyrelock Pistol, retired pirate and rich man, is wooed to the Banana Republic by a poster for an opera featuring the delectable Madame Moo, a beautiful laundress with the tatty little comedy troupe, The Teatro Fiasco. On his way there, he stops by Mal de Mario’s Casino & Honeymoon Hotspot where he reserves the honeymoon suite for him and his future bride. After a case of mistaken identity, Captain Pistol finds his Madame Moo at the Teatro Fiasco where he’s thrown out after he asks her to be his bride. Later, when Madame Moo learns that he’s a rich playboy from Pinappoli, she goes to him and he again asks her to be his bride. This time, she agrees but their happily ever after doesn't exactly go as planned…

A comic opera told in graphic novel form, Captain Pistol’s Paradise is an artistic masterpiece of vibrant colors and quirky characters moving, conniving and manipulating against a backdrop of tropical scenery that is a visual delight. With the handsome Captain Jack Fyrelock Pistol and Madame Mona Mercy Moo as the stars, and a cast of colorful characters that include Don Juan Fiasco Y Tabasco, Director of the Teatro Fiasco, cougar Lolo La Bow-Wow and El Supremo, top banana of Bananazu, each adds their own flair of zaniness to an otherwise “out there” plot. Chock-full of blatant innuendos and schticky one-liners (I couldn’t resist you no more than a monkey could resist a banana fritter), it’s indeed a cartoon opera that’s meant to entertain – not be taken seriously. The accompanying images are worth a thousand words – and then some. Captain Pistol’s Paradise is truly a feast for the eyes and an assault on the funny bones.