7 March 2015

Review: Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi

Title: Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
Author: Kazu Kibuishi
Published: March 1st 2012
Series: Explorer #1
Source: Paperback
Pages: 128

Goodreads | Amazon
Seven clever stories answer one simple question: what’s in the box?

Funny, fantastic, spooky, and suspenseful, each of these unique and beautifully illustrated short graphic works revolves around a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels—or mayhem—inside. Artists include middle school favorites Kazu Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeier (Smile), and Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), as well as Jason Caffoe, Stuart Livingston, Johane Matte, Rad Sechrist (all contributors to the groundbreaking comics anthology series Flight), and upcoming artist Emily Carroll.
I don't usually like short stories but I was drawn by the different art styles so I decided to give it a go! The stories were really good even though they were only a few pages long. All in all, there were very powerful drawings. I envy all the creative that went into this! I have pictures of the title pages for each short story to give you a sneak peek at the different art styles. :)

I will talk about each short story briefly without spoiling anything:

Under the floorboards by Emily Carroll

Dark, creepy and suspenseful
Story was amazingly executed

A solid 5 stars
Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier

Fun and quick read but it did not have a conclusive ending.

3.5 stars
The Keeper's Treasure by Jason Caffoe

Loved the humour and the message of the story, I did not see the ending coming at all! Amazing stuff!

5 stars
The Butter Thief by Rad Sechrist

I did not really like the art style for this story but oh boy, the story was AWESOME! It transitioned between the real world and the spirit world so seamlessly and it reminded me of the Miyazaki films.

5 sparkly stars
The Soldier's Daughter by Stuart Livingston

This was a morality tale that had so much potential and sadly it was just not well executed as a short story. There was a sever lack of world building and character building. TBH, I can't remember the story and I am writing this based on the notes I took while reading it. This short story sounded like a great intro to a full length comic series.

2.5 stars
Whatzit by Johane Matte

This was very quirkly, adorable and entertaining!
I can imagine totally imagine this as a cartoon series :)

4 stars
 The Escape Option by Kazu Kibuishi

Great great ending to the entire collection! Loved the art style and the message of this story. This one was deep and made me think, it exceeded my expectations of short stories. This was my favourite out of the entire collection!

5 stars for sure

Great great great short stories, executions were spot on and these stories are surprisingly memorable. I would really recommend that everyone check this out! It is also a great introduction to these comic book authors and I will definitely be checking out the works of most of them!

My rating: 


  1. This is a really cool concept! I think I'll check it out. I like the looks of the varying art styles.

    Cayt @ Vicarious Caytastrophe

    1. Yay glad the photos were helpful! :) The art alone is worth the read.

      Thanks for dropping by!