Finally, For Girls

By Barry Deutsch
Amulet Books, 144 pages, $15.95

If there’s one thing the contemporary world of comics lacks, it’s books for young girls. Thankfully, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword came along. The heroine of the tale is Mirka, a girl living in an Orthodox Jewish community. The world beyond is a mystery, as is the talking pig she meets at the story’s start. Knowing pork to be off-limits, the pig both frightens and fascinates her, as it would any child on a kosher diet. The pig is only one of many strange encounters, which also include a witch and a surly troll. The charm of Hereville is that it’s a world unlike our own, yet contains experiences any child can identify with.

The story takes a few bizarre twists, and at times it’s hard to remember exactly why Mirka is in such a mess. Children are bound to have questions for their parents, but these conversations should be a joy in themselves. The artwork is like a well-drawn cartoon, and a handful of pages are quite beautiful. While Tintin and Calvin & Hobbes can keep boys busy for days, Hereville finally presents an adventure tale for mischievous and courageous girls.

Reviewed by Corey Pung