The Library Adventures: An exploration into Doug TenNapel’s Cardboard

I recently got Doug TenNapel’s Cardboard from my local library on a whim as it looked interesting to me. The story of it is about a man named Mike who is having a rough time finding work as a carpenter around town. Mike wants to be able to do something for his son Cam’s birthday and gets a mysterious cardboard box from a seller on the side of the road. From the most terrible birthday present imaginable to a wild adventure unlike anything this father and son imagined, this is Cardboard. The cover shows an idea of the imagination at hand here because when you’re a kid and you get a cardboard box, it is a sign of infinite possibilities. Which is why TenNapel’s story plays on this aspect and takes it to a new level of imagination unleashed. If you’re curious about his name he’s one of the creators of Earthworm Jim and the recent release Amikrog. It’s weird I never heard much about it back in 2012 or I just wasn’t paying attention to it, likely I somehow missed the reviews. I’m glad I got to read it finally as now I get a fun little story to talk about in Doug TenNapel’s Cardboard.

One thing I noticed about Cardboard is the book reads quickly and that’s not bad as the intended audience for this is kids. It’s totally all ages though and you’ll be able to pick it up in no time. Mike and his son Cam are good characters and a lot of fun to see how they handle the cardboard box and just how powerful this big box really is. I can see this easily being an animated movie as some of the creations from this box look and beg to be animated as much as they look great on the page. TenNapel’s art is beautiful with lots of great animated faces, creations, and fantastic visuals. I think the villain of the piece Marcus is a strange egg in TenNapel’s writing, overall it’s the rich brat character mixed in with Spike from Toy Story. It might possibly be a form of Spike from Toy Story with a level of sympathy that Spike never got to have, it’s weird. It balances out through by the end of the story but it still doesn’t take away from how likable Cardboard is.

The creation of Bill the Boxer in Cardboard is a cool idea and hints at the cool visuals to come. Whenever this comic becomes an animated series or even a movie I think kids are going to go cardboard box crazy. I really did like this book and I think if I read it as a kid I would have dug it and even adult Wesley likes this book too, so a good example of a nice all ages comic. It’s well worth checking out, not sure if I’d ever really want to own it but definitely worth reading. Thank you local library for letting me check out another neat adventure into the comic book world.

About Wesley Messer

columnist/reviewer at, geek culture examiner at and general jack of all trades in everything else.

Posted on October 11, 2015, in Comic Books, Graphic Novels and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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