Review: Underwhere

In 1995, Kevin Eastman came out with a new book called “Underwhere.”  It was a children’s adventure type book with amazing artwork in it.  I learned of this book when going to the Words and Pictures Museum to see Kevin Eastman.  He was not at the membership party that year so to see him my family made a trip out for his “Underwhere” autograph session with Mark Martin and Paul Jenkins.  So everyone in my family picked up a copy of “Underwhere” and got it signed by the three of them.  While the book is from the mid 90’s, it’s still a good read to this day.  I recently sat down and re-read this old book.

The story of Underwhere is about a boy, Jacob, who is at his grandfather’s house.  His grandfather has passed away and the mother is trying to find the will to save the house. While helping his mom search, he likes to play as he’s an adventurer.  His mother sends him to search under the bed where he finds a note from his grandfather telling him how to find a treasure.  So he does what the note says, leading him to a necklace that then takes him to another world, where Jacob has a whole new adventure.

Jacob meets two new friends as soon as he gets there.  Though one does not seem so friendly at first.  Klik Klik the Brave calls Jacob ugly and is really rude to him.  Though Hugo realizes that Jacob needs help and gets Klik Klik to lighten up.  They meet the enemies and have a battle, though the enemies do get their hands on something that Jacob needs to return home.  So the mission is set for their adventure, they must get the giant can of pop that acts as a space ship.

Starting the great adventure, they must go to Klik Klik’s friend Hairball.  During this time we get to see Jacob act as a child does, with a million questions as they make their way through the woods.  Heading to a lake that they must cross, they get to the lake just in time for dark.  Klik Klik gets a fire going.  They talk a little before heading to bed.  The next day, Jacob sees his reflection for the first time of his new look and it surprises him as he did not realize he changed when he came to this world.

Once they start their trip across the water, Jacob learns that there’s trouble even in the water.  As they have a bit of an adventure there, which lands them on the other side of the lake, where Klik Klik leads them to a cave with two characters sitting outside mocking them.  These two seem like fun characters, but what I can’t help but laugh about is that one of them is named Chet.  Anyone who knows much about the early days of TMNT is the name Chet would come up often through the comics.  It is something that both Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird have been talking about in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Collection books.

Now it’s time to meet Hairball, who was so kind that it baked them a cake.  Here Jacob learns that his grandfather would travel to this world and has saved it.  Though his grandfather has stopped coming around and the bad guy has come back.  Now this same bad guy that use to fight his grandfather has the pop can machine that Jacob came to this world in.  He must get the machine back so that the villain does not get the ability to travel between the two worlds.  The real mission begins.

Not wanting to give too many more spoilers, this book brings Jacob, Klik Klik, and Hugo through a handful of other adventures along their way and getting others to help them with the mission.  It’s fun, with humor and action, and the artwork is just brilliant. Released by KESI Entertainment, KESI stands for Kevin Eastman Studios Inc.  From what I’ve learned about KESI the trademark has not been renewed since 1997.  Originally the book was $24.95 U.S. and $30.95 CAN.

With awesome adventure, fun character growth, new friends along the way, and amazing artwork I enjoyed picking up Underwhere again after all these years to read it.  One of my favorite things about this book is the art and just how wonderful the colors and world comes together that Jacob goes too.  It’s impressive to see pages like showing the two different worlds and how much alike they are.  When he’s falling in the new world, it shows a two page spread of the living room of the house he’s on with the stairway the following two page spread is the new world that he’s going into.  Hold those two pages together to see how much is the same, yet different.  Wonderful display of skill with the art, color and layout!  When I think of this book, those pages are usually some of the first thing that comes to mind.

Have you read Underwhere?  What is your thoughts on this book?  Please feel free to review, comment or ask any questions below!  All email addresses are kept private.

Entertainment Earth

 


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