Sardine in Outer Space: anarchic kids' science fiction comic

We've had the first four volumes of Sardine in Space on our bookshelf since Poesy was born, five years ago, but we've only just started reading them at bed-time (it's great to have wonderful books on the shelves for the kid to pull down and discover on her own!) and the books have captivated both parents and daughter.

Sardine tells the story of a little witch girl (Sardine, who has a cat on her hat), her best friend (Little Louie), and her uncle, a gruff, bluff space pirate named Uncle Yellow. They are locked in eternal combat with Supermuscleman, egotistical chief executive dictator of the universe, and his sidekick, the sinister Doc Kroc -- a horrible toady with a fiendishly inventive mind.

The Sardine stories -- all seven volumes' worth! -- are short, silly comics in which improbable creatures, silly inventions, and comeuppances for hapless and bossy and cruel adults feature heavily. There's never any real danger, just purely anarchic mayhem and humor. We read two stories every night at bedtime (I do the voices), and it takes about 15 minutes. Just perfect. The stories are simple enough that Poesy -- who can sound out a few words but isn't a fluent reader yet -- can enjoy them on a purely visual level, but the dialog is snappy enough that it's even more fun when we read them together. There's no need to read them in any order, either -- you can dip in or out as you want.

Sardine in Outer Space was created by Emmanuel Guibert and Joann Sfar, and published by FirstSecond books, who were kind enough to provide us with the complete "Sardine Under the Bed" story for this review, after the jump.

Sardine in Outer Space