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3.01.2017

Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon (2015)

Written by Terry John Barto

Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

AuthorHouse


Nickerbacher is a dragon with bushy eyebrows who spends his days and nights lazing before a tall tower, guarding the fair maiden entrapped within, the set-up for many a standard fairy-tale. But Nickerbacher doesn’t want to be part of a standard fairy tale, he’d rather be out preforming stand-up comedy at a nightclub.

“Why did it take me forever to cross the road? Because I’m always a-draggin!”

But dragons don’t perform comedy. Dragons fight knights. Dragons breathe fire. Dragons do dragon-things.

“Every dragon has a duty to guard princesses!” growls his frowning father, a much larger dragon whose eyebrows aren’t even a tad bushy.

“But I want to tell jokes!” Nickerbacher pleads.

His father isn’t having it.
"You're not supposed to make people laugh, you're supposed to scare them!"

Nickerbacher seems resigned to this life when finally that other standard storybook trope, the brave knight, makes his appearance. His name is Prince Happenstance, and he has come to rescue the princess and to do battle!

Nickerbacher, however, has only one weapon in his arsenal. “I’m a comedian. I’ll slay you with laughter, Prince Fancypants!”

"Don't you think I'm funny?"

The art by Kim Sponaugle is fun and expressive. I liked the design of all of the characters. She creates a convincing-looking dragon that works as well in a medieval setting as he does even after he’s donned a loud bow tie and jacket, standing onstage before an audience of anachronistic theater-goers.

“You know what happened to the dragon whose dream came true?” he asks his adoring crowds. “He lived happily ever after.”

Hm… seems I recall hearing that line in a movie somewhere…  But perhaps this is a fairy tale after all!

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Comedy Castle presents...."

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