James Kochalka's "The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza"


I have never heard my daughter laugh as loud or as long as she did when I read her James Kochalka new kids' graphic novel, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza. My six year old literally howled with laughter as I read this to her at bedtime, and kicked her legs in the air, and thumped the pillow -- tears of laughter rolled down her cheeks. After reading this to her twice at bedtime, I had to declare a moratorium on further bedtime reads because it wound her up too much to sleep.

I loved it too. The Glorkian Warrior is a dopey, destiny-seeking superhero who finds himself on a quest when he intercepts a wrong-number pizza-order and decides to deliver the leftover pizza in his fridge. His straight-man is his wisecracking, laser-zapping sentient backpack, which helps him fight off a giant mecha-suited doofus named Gonk, a mysterious pizza-snatching saucer-craft, and a magic robot in an impenetrable fortress.

It's pretty much perfect slapstick, with Don-Martinesque onomatopoeia that's a pure delight to read aloud, as well as hilarious characters drawn with charming style.

James Kochalka is one of those polymaths whose work you may have encountered in webcomic form, as music, or in bizarro adult comics. There's also a kickstarted Glorkian Warrior game that's now available.

This is the first time I've read him as a kids' creator, and I think it's his best work to date. But maybe not at bedtime.

The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza

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  1. Reading it makes me think I can do it.

    The Smiling Robot was very sad. "Hey, — he said to himself — You're a Smiling Robot, why should you be sad?"
    "Damn, — he said to himself, — I'm talking to myself. Only losers do". That made him even more sad. He also wondered if he can use the word "Damn" if he wanted to be a star of kids' book.
    Every gear in his body, every screw, every 3D-printed detail of uncertain shape which didn't even have a name but fit just right was sad. He wondered if he should get them replaced. He then wondered if he replaced them all would he still be himself — the Smiling Robot. He wondered if he should stop wondering and maybe get wandering to ease his sadness a bit. But he knew the truth — the world outside wasn't very uplifting. So lifeless, robotic it has became that the remaining people had to create him, the Smiling Robot, to raise their spirits. But now he, too, was sad.

    How did I do?

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