Graphic Novel Review: HELLO KITTY: SURPRISE!

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

It's no secret that I absolutely love the Hello Kitty books that VIZ Media imprint Perfect Square have been releasing (digitally and in print, by the way). And I'm happy to report straight from the start that the third book in this new series is still the same delightful stuff I fell in love with in volume 1.


"What’s that? Who’s there? It’s a surprise!  Expect the unexpected! A day at the beach is more than just fun in the sun. A mysterious egg holds a tiny secret. Mama and Papa have a few secrets of their own. And a quiet afternoon with a good book is more enchanting than Hello Kitty ever could have imagined! Plus, prepare to be amazed by Anastassia Neislotova’s tales of wonder!"

Where Here We Go! (reviewed on Japanator previously) focused on Hello Kitty traveling and having adventures here and there and everywhere, and Delicious! (reviewed on Japanator previously) focused on adventures surrounding food, Surprise! naturally focused on.. well, surprises. Only pleasant surprises, I assure you. And of course, what all three books have in common is you'll probably get cavities. 

Ian McGinty made his big co-creator debut in this volume, and it looks like there was a big focus on showcasing his talents this time around. He handled four of the seven major stories in this book, which alternated with stories by Jacob Chabot and Jorge Monlongo, and shorts by Anastassia Neislotova (bonus: take a look at the endpapers and one of the shorts by Neislotova). Though I was sad to see less of the others, it was still refreshing and fun to follow Hello Kitty's adventures as told by McGinty, who had been briefly featured in Delicious!.

Despite only having one story, Jacob Chabot did some really stand-out work in this book (story by the book's Editor Traci N. Todd - credit where credit's due). Specifically, I love the big change in art style when Hello Kitty went on an adventure that was literally out of a book. The textures and even the background under the panels were completely changed since everything except Kitty herself was made out of paper. Delightful work, right there.

Altogether a wonderful presentation (reminder: these are wordless graphic novels) that is suitable for all ages, these books are a fun read to toss into the TBR pile for when you need a break from the heavy stuff. The stories are guaranteed to make you smile, and are told in the simplest way - artwork that isn't too busy, and nice, bold colors. This book was released on April 1 and there doesn't seem to be a listing for a fourth title yet. Once I see it, I'll be sure to post about it on this blog, though.