The Glass Scientists

Razorbill. Vol. 1). Oct. 2023. 240p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780593524428; pap. $16.99. ISBN 9780593524442.
Gr 10 Up–Carried by the infamous character Dr. Jekyll, a posh society man whose changing personality emerges at night as Mr. Hyde, Cotugno's graphic novel astutely navigates multiple classic characters in fresh ways while offering larger themes of community and acceptance that warmly connect to TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. This webcomic-turned-published volume will already have an audience. Dr. Jekyll uses his charismatic personality to build a safe environment at the Society for Arcane Sciences, away from the prying eyes of average citizens. This persona, including dueling Mr. Hyde-by-night, protects mad scientists, including Frankenstein and her monster, in a world of myth and fantasy with creative intersections. Plenty is bubbling under the surface with the mix of eccentric characters assembled under one roof, embarking on new adventures in their laboratories after being pushed to the margins of a society that does not tolerate them anymore. Using vibrant colors and a 19th-century London setting, the combination is visually stunning. The character driven journey explores the history and future of the monsters and scientists, using abundant dialogue that crowds each panel. Scenes range from humorous to horrific with engaging twists and turns, the underpinnings of the regularly scheduled webcomic.
VERDICT Quirky characters in a Victorian setting navigate new territory in the shadows, breathing new life into graphic novel offerings with a combination of science and historical fiction. Add to a collection where webcomics are a hit.

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