Jonas hasn't had the easiest eighth grade year. He just lost his mother in a house fire. His father won't tell him which high school he'll be going to. And he spends most of his time doodling and daydreaming when he should be doing schoolwork. But his talent for imagination may come in handy when he finds himself on a journey through a magic mirror.
Daniel Lieske's The Wormworld Saga is a gorgeously illustrated illustrated webcomic that drifts dreamily down the infinite canvas. We start on Jonas' last day of school, where he's the only kid who doesn't know where he's going to high school. When he asks his well-meaning but uptight father, he just gets an earful about his poor grades. Jonas is a disappointment to his father on a number of fronts — not only is he more a doodler than a student, but he's also had an intense fear of fire ever since his mother died. When a fireplace throws him into panic attacks, his father demands strength rather than offering sympathy.
But for Jonas, none of that matters because he's in his favorite place in the world: his grandmother's house in the country. At grandma's, there is a cat and dog to be his companion, a forest to act out his private adventures in, and an attic to serve as his secret hideout. Something more lurks in grandma's house, though, and when something magic touches a mirror in the attic, it opens up a door to another world. And it's only a matter of time before Jonas leaps through.
So far, there have been two long and lovely installments of Wormworld, with another one due in April. I'm looking forward to the background details and bright colors Lieske is sure to pack in future chapters, but I'm most excited about the development of little Jonas. Yes, Jonas' father could stand to loosen up a bit, but Jonas, for his wooden sword and his tales of daring-do, will need to become a bit more responsible and a great deal braver.