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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
"Gesso Squad: The Graphic Novel, Volume One" features teenagers from Chandler High School who work for the United Nations. They are American Lyra Newton known as "The Purple Hat", Marshall Conte known as "Kitty Boy" from Peru, Sumi Caballo or "Lady Splatter" from Haiti, Sanford or "Azure" from Ghana and Crystal Fabriano or "Spectrum" from Italy. These teenagers are crime solvers,fighting off demons from outer space that steal Pre-Columbian ceramic vessels from museums and see to it that the ancient treasures are returned to where they belong. With the action expected of today's graphic novel, the teens appear in four chapters that end with questions for the reader to answer and an online website quiz for the avid followers to complete.
"Gesso Squad: The Graphic Novel" is well-created, colorful, and filled with interesting, appealing characters who are featured in a middle section called "Character Guide". The death of the original leader of the Gesso Squad, Russell Harrington, is explained, not illustrated, which makes it acceptable for teens of all ages. The questions at the end of each chapter make "Gesso Squad" a learning experience and not just another graphic novel. That the main characters are multicultural is an attractive feature (Lyra just wants to be a normal teenager!) as is Marshall's being an anthropomorphic cat agent who has sympathies for the Gesso Squad. Author and creator V.J. Brockett has created a series that is certain to be popular with graphic novel fans everywhere. Her artwork is spectacular, for Lyra, Sanford, and Marshall are attractive teens and the demons are truly scary looking, perfect for this series.