Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
July 24, 2021 Alexandra Adlawan

Middle School

Ethan’s dad is a comic artist whose greatest creation, the mutant superhero Kren, brought him fame and glory. But after his dad’s string of successful books, a tragedy strikes the family and now his dad is completely stuck.
If only artistic talent were hereditary. Ethan is stuck on a graphic-novel project of his own at school and won’t own up to the fact that he can’t draw. When one night an ink-blot creation emerges from his father’s sketchbook, the family’s whole world begins to change.


When I first saw the book cover and read the summary, I thought this was going to be a graphic novel. I’m still a little disappointed that it’s not but I wouldn’t have this story any other way.


This is an extremely unique story with an extremely unique character, Inkling, an ink blot with a mind of his own. My favorite thing about Inkling, besides his ability to draw, is his love of reading. Well, he doesn’t exactly read the words, he absorbs the inky words and they become part of him. The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ comes to mind. I wish I had my own little Inkling, so I could feed him all my favorite books. For example: The Harry Potter series, the Land of Stories series, the Amelia Rules graphic novel series, etc.


In my opinion, Ethan’s dad has every right to be in an artistic slump. He loses his wife to an illness and is left alone with his son and down-syndrome daughter. I think he should be more worried about getting back on his feet and taking care of his kids then writing/drawing a new bestseller. And no one in this book seems to understand how difficult it is to come up with a good story let alone draw one. Everyone keeps saying “why doesn’t he just snap out of it” or “how hard can it be?” or “when I draw a graphic novel I’ll never miss a deadline”. As an author/artist myself, I can tell you that you cannotjust snap outof a funk, it is very hardto come up with a story and artwork that appeals to others, and when it comes to this line of work it is very hardto time out when you’ll be done. I had a very difficult time while drawing the artwork for my first book and I didn’t even have a fraction of the depression and heartbreak that this guy has.


I could say more about certain themes and points made in this story, but I don’t want to give away any more information. This is a perfect story for upcoming writers, illustrators and anyone else in need of a heartwarming thriller.


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