Power Up, By Doug Tennapel

Power Up is a light-hearted graphic novel that tells the story of Hugh, an aspiring video game designer, copy shop clerk, husband, and father. Hugh purchases an experimental video game console from an estate sale and comes to find that the power ups in the game apply in real life. Extra-lives create extra Hughs to help get the chores done, shields save him in an armed robbery, and gold coins from the game make him and his family rich. The video game console acts as modern day genie, fulfilling Hugh’s wishes. Of course, the console can’t solve all his problems and manages to create some new ones too.

As an adult who grew up playing video games, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I don’t think you have to love video games to appreciate Power Up. The dialog is snappy and the artwork supports it perfectly. Often, Tennapel’s drawings on their own were enough to make me laugh. Physical comedy abounds in this title. Also, the characters are comically exaggerated, but not so much that you can’t relate to them. Recommended.

4 out of 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Steve Osler, Library Services