When you were a young pokéfreak, didn’t you doodle your own fantastic Pokémon creations in the margins of your notebook? Wasn’t it your dream to own a Pokémon of your very own and battle your friends during recess? Well sorry to burst your bubble kid, but that ain’t gonna happen! But if you want to relive the magic you felt when you picked your first starter, I highly recommend you pick up Capture Creatures – a fantastical re-imagining of the world of Pokémon by Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson.

Capture Creatures Becky Dreistadt Frank Gibson

I recently met this power couple at the recent TCAF – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, where I joyfully reminisced about enjoying their old webcomic Tiny Kitten Teeth. As I sung their praises, I noticed Capture Creatures, a gorgeous hardcover edition of their Pokémon-inspired art project published by B9 Kingdom, and as soon as I opened it I fell in love. They not only created their own series of monsters, but in a world where the Pokémon from the new games feel more and more convoluted in design, Becky’s art and Frank’s descriptions were so creative and inspired, they made me fall in love with the concept of pocket monsters all over again. Complete with elemental monster types and evolutions, the homage is clear (there are even 151 of them), but Capture Creatures manages to feel fresh in its execution.

The Poky Little Puppy Little Golden Book Tenggren
A classic Little Golden Book illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren

Becky’s art evokes the spirit of the Little Golden Books and its artists such as Richard Scarry and Gustaf Tenggren (appropriately, Tenggren did art for golden age Disney movies including Snow White, and Dreistadt has also worked with Disney). The creatures in this book are full of life, and their personality is evident from just the one picture devoted to each. Frank’s descriptions flesh out the world of Capture Creatures, explaining each creature’s abilities and habitat, and how natural factors and amazing symbiotic relationships encourage the creatures to evolve.

When I read through Capture Creatures, I couldn’t help but smile. The creatures in this book are just so creative, and truly this dynamic duo has captured what made the original Pokémon game so special; they have created a series of fantastic creatures with incredible powers, but in doing so, they have also effectively built an entire world with its own lore that’s easy to get lost in. Here’s just one example:

Kappadee (#79)

Type: Water

Capture Creatures Becky Dreistadt Frank Gibson KappadeeKappadee are always seen with their companion, its younger form Kappling. The creature has a large divot in its head, which is often filled with rain water. Kappadee maintain a high internal temperature for an aquatic type, making their head-pool feel like a spa. This heat keeps the fragile Kappaling from freezing in its infant stage. Kappadee are able to control the single attack of Kappling, but exactly how is unknown.

Intrigued yet? I don’t want to share more, as it would ruin the wonder of flipping through the entire book, but if you want to experience more of these wonderful critters, you can find a bunch on Becky’s DeviantArt.

I am a little late to this party; Capture Creatures was published in 2013, and unbeknownst to me there has even been four single issue comics devoted to the world of Capture Creatures. I tweeted at Becky and Frank’s Twitter, and they said they hope to continue the series soon! If you love Pokémon and gorgeous art, I highly recommend picking up Capture Creatures on the Topataco store. I know this is a book I will grab frequently off my shelf when I have writers block to flip through, and smile.

Be sure to follow Becky and Frank on Twitter and Tumblr, as well as Becky’s DeviantArt account. If you enjoyed this buttery, creamery post, be sure to also follow Nerd Speaker on Twitter and Facebook.

Image credit: http://pocketowl.deviantart.com.