Reviewed November 12, 2013.
Candlewick Press, 2013. 223 pages.
Bluffton is a graphic novel about a fictional friend of Buster Keaton. When Buster Keaton was young, and already a vaudeville star, his family really did vacation at Bluffton, in Muskegon, Michigan, along with a whole group of vaudevillians, complete with an elephant and a zebra.
The book shows what it might have been like for an ordinary kid living in Muskegon, getting to play with Buster Keaton during the summers.
This graphic novel catches the lazy fun of summer, as well as Buster Keaton’s tendency to pranks and tricks. And it imagines what he would have been like to play with. Henry, the ordinary boy in the story, dreams of having an act like Buster.
This book has a lot of heart, and a nice factual foundation. Matt Phelan writes that he has been a Buster Keaton fan since he was a small boy, and his affection comes out in his work.