If only we could all refuse to age, like Hello Kitty. The red ribboned icon has turned forty, and in honor of this VIZ Media has released Hello Kitty: Hello 40, which has 41 Hello Kitty comic stories. (The extra one is for good luck).
If you’re familiar with VIZ’s other cute Hello Kitty comics, this one is done along the same lines, but with a few differences. This book keeps up with the mostly wordless, all-ages storytelling, but it’s much bigger than the other Hello Kitty comics and is packaged as a handsome hardcover.
The stories are all short, and it’s interesting to see how different artists take their spin on Hello Kitty. Some stories are done in colored pencils, or with paper cutouts. They’re all cute and good stories, but they can also have humorous or sweet angles to them. Sometimes Hello Kitty can even get semi-serious, like the time in Chynna Clugston Flores’s story where she puts on samurai gear to fight beings straight out of kaiju monster movies … but that ends up having a pretty cute ending, too. Martin Hsu’s “Once Upon a Hello Kitty Wedding” is haunting and gorgeous-looking. Other writers, like Gene Luen Yang, Ian McGinty and Jacob Chabot create funny stories.
VIZ did a good job putting together a list of writers and artists, including Eisner Award-winners. If you’re already a fan of at least some of these names (and I imagine you are), take a look at what they have to offer in these pages: Alberto Arzeni, Franco Aureliani, Art Baltazar, Chuck BB, Alan Brown, Juan Calle, R.J. Casey, Jacob Chaot, Chanman, Belinda Chen, Gemma Correll, Brianne Drouhard, Jerzy Drozd, Chris Eliopoulos, Theo Ellsworth, Chynna Clugston Flores, Susie Ghahremani, Chris Giarrusso, Stephanie Gonzaga, Sarah Goodreau, Habbenink, Charise Mericle Harper, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm, David Horvath, Corin Howell, Martin Hsu, Debbie Huey, Leslie Hung, Phillip Jacobson, Karl Kerschl, Cynthia Liu, Ian McGinty, Alex Eden Meyer, Jorge Monlongo, Becka Moor, Travis Nichols, Sirron Noris, Luke Pearson, Lark Pien, Philippa Rice, Dave Roman, Brian Smith, Jay Stephens, James Turner and Gene Luen Yang. During parts of the book the writers and artists talk about what Hello Kitty means to them and provide a personal spin, like discussing how she’s been a part of their life since childhood.
Ultimately, Hello Kitty: Hello 40 would be a really good book for both young fans of Hello Kitty and people who have continued their fandom into adulthood. For many people there is something irresistible about Hello Kitty, and that can be seen in this comic anthology.
Editors: Traci N. Todd and Elizabeth Kawasaki
Publisher: VIZ Media
For Minecraft fans, the young-at-heart and people who know young Minecraft fans, Danica Davidson’s middle grade Minecraft novel Escape from the Overworld is now available for pre-order. It will be released in January.