How to Spot a Sasquatch follows fictional middle-grade hero Jay the Junior Ranger. While on a camping trip with his fellow scouts, Jay is determined to spot a sasquatch. When he lets one of the other campers in on his mission, that kid blabs, and Jay quickly becomes the laughingstock of the group.
Jay is more earnest than the skeptics he’s camping with — he snacks on organic carrot sticks instead of potato chips and prefers to shoot with a camera instead of a smartphone. But despite their ribbing, he holds firm to his belief in wilderness monsters.
Of course, Jay’s right: there is a sasquatch nearby, and she wants to be friends. Sass has been told to stay away from humans – by her adopted bear parents – but when she sees Jay in trouble, she can’t help but secretly lend him a hand. When they finally meet, Jay returns the favour. But can they really be buddies when they can’t even introduce each other to friends and family?
Canadian comic book writer J. Torres’s graphic novel – the first in a series – is illustrated by Montreal-based Aurélie Grand, who also worked on the West Meadows Detectives books. Her fun style fits in well with Torres’s humour (for instance, when a footprint Jay thinks belongs to a sasquatch turns out to be Sass’s butt print). But she’s also adept at capturing the emotional depth of the characters: Sass goes from carefree to sullen in a matter of panels.
Filipino-born Torres honed his craft as a writer for the DC Comics’ series Teen Titans Go! and in the Eisner Award–nominated Alison Dare comic book series. Here, he’s created an Asian-Canadian hero who is enthusiastic and nerdy in the best way possible, but not so goody-goody that he isn’t above pushing back when he needs to stand up for himself. As for Sass, she’s lovable and just a bit absent-minded. Readers will certainly enjoy being in on their secret adventures.