I wasn’t really familiar with Emmy Award-winning creator Pendleton Ward’s Bravest Warriors when I requested a copy of Bravest Warriors: Things to Doodle and Do! (published by Viz Media’s Perfect Square imprint) for review. Sure, I knew Ward was the guy behind Adventure Time and I had a vague notion that Bravest Warriors was something sci-fi related; but neither I nor my children knew anything about the premise or the characters. What we did know, however, is that doodle books are awesome and Adventure Time is awesome so by extension, this doodle book was likely pretty awesome.
And indeed, what we received was awesome. Clocking in at over 120 pages (that’s where I stopped counting), the book features a bunch of games, activities, finger puppets, puzzles, and amazing half-finished illustrations by artist Fawn Lau, who has worked on all of Perfect Square’s Bravest Warriors titles, as well as a cover illustration and select interior artwork by comic book artist Alan Brown. It’s jam packed with tons of stuff for kids, and probably a lot of adults, to do.
Want to learn how to draw each character from Bravest Warriors in four simple steps? This book has you covered. Do you like to make little puppets using your own fingers as legs? There are some of those in here too. Have you ever wanted to play board games or design a variety of outfits for these characters? Do you enjoy drawing soft tacos? How about fish from outer space? Yes, yes, and yes. Does the idea of imagining what the offspring of a couple of the Bravest Warriors might look like entice you? Have you ever wanted to provide dialogue for a comic book featuring characters with impossibly large posteriors? Do you frequently dream of drawing new friends for a space princess who has driven her old ones away due to her frequent need to poop? If so, then you shall find a cornucopia of excitement inside this doodle book!
If a doodle book’s worth can be judged by the volume of laughter it elicits from the children using it, then Bravest Warriors: Things to Doodle and Do! has earned a position in the Hall of Legends and can be referred to as an “instant classic”. I can’t recall the last time I’ve heard my children laugh quite so hard for such a great length of time. And it was a laughter that didn’t eventually devolve into a pointless argument, another rarity amongst my kids. Granted, it’s easy to make a kid laugh with a few fart and poop jokes, but there’s more to this book than just flatulence and feces.
There are a lot of great concepts in this doodle book. The aforementioned idea of combining two characters to create their children, designing a bedroom for an inter-dimensional being, or guessing what a time traveller might look like in 50, 100, or 500 years encourages a great deal of creativity. In fact, there’s nothing in this book that doesn’t inspire creative thought! That’s kind of the whole point of a doodle book and while some of…okay, pretty much all of the ideas in this book are pretty absurd, they push the boundaries of the brain while kids push crayons. And I’m all for it.
Is some of the humor a bit off-color? Yeah, I guess so. But kids have been making fart jokes since the dawn of time. I’m fairly certain that there are cave drawings featuring scatological artwork. And frankly, who ever said this book was just for kids anyway?
Bravest Warriors: Things to Doodle and Do! carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $12.99/$14.99 Canada and is worth every penny whether you’re a fan or not.