It’s pretty clear that kids enjoy reading stories with recurring characters, characters whose histories they can follow over a long, long time. A graphic novel series, especially in manga, can run a half dozen volumes, or 20, or 30, or even hundreds of books, as the characters grow and change and meet more difficult and more mature challenges. Regular periodical comic books can run for the better part of a century. So far, Graphic Universe hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to offer that sort of series, though the Manga Math Mysteries characters are spending a lot of time together and will grow up a little bit with each year.
Here’s a shameless blurb for one of my favourite Graphic Universe recurring characters: we do have one who has been making his or her way through several books. I say “his or her” because it’s the “you” character, the reader’s point of view, in the Twisted Journeys series. More specifically: Agent Mongoose, super spy, world’s youngest secret agent.
Not only does the reader get to star as Agent Mongoose (suave genius with an arsenal of high tech and high kicks) in Agent Mongoose and the Hypno-Beam Scheme and an upcoming sequel, she (or he) makes some guest appearances as a secondary character to help the reader (a different “you”) out of a few scrapes in other Twisted Journeys books penned by Dan Jolley (including this season’s Shipwrecked on Mad Island—mad scientists gone wild). Three different artists have tackled the character so far (Matt Wendt for Agent Mongoose and the Hypno-Beam Scheme, Court Huddleston for Shipwrecked on Mad Island, Dave Witt for… well, wait and see), who’s always conveniently in disguise. I hope readers will have fun spotting the Mongoose wherever he/she/it(?!) appears.