It must be a record!! 3 days in a row!! I decided to combine my graphic novel reviews. Figured it might be easier that way. Of course, I could probably talk all day about these two!!
I decided for my first graphic novel I should probably start with a known love....Neil Gaiman. Makes sense, right? The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (240 pgs, Vertigo, 1993) is just an amazing piece of art. The language, the story, the pictures, the characters. This one has it all!
Wake up, Sir. We're here.
As this story opens, a mystic by the name of Roderick Burgess acquires a grimoire with the sole purpose of 'capturing' Death. But his failure to bind Death results in another being captured: Dream. Imprisoned for almost 70 years before he can escape, Dream returns to the world to find his realm in shambles. His powers are diminished, and he goes on a quest to get back his "tools" so he can rebuild and set the World of Dreams right again.
In his quest, we meet some of the incredible cast of characters this book (and hopefully the series) has to offer: Cain and Abel, Lucifer Morningstar, The Hecateae, John Constantine, and Dream's sister, Death (who happens to be a really cool goth-chick!)
I know this story is only the first, but it held me utterly captive! From page 1, I could tell it is something special. Brilliant in it's complexity, it is dark and bold. The section entitled "24 Hours" is so completely chilling, it actually made my skin crawl!! Dr. Destiny, the man who has Dream's Ruby, goes into a diner and spends 24 hours there showing us the affect that Dream's possessions has on people. In the wrong hands, the power of the dream can be a really horrific thing.
As you can probably tell by my gushing...I will definitely be reading the rest of this series!! For ANYONE that loves things dark and creepy, this is a MUST read!!! 5/5
Next on the list of new favorites is Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (128 pgs, Vertigo, 2002).
Once upon a Time....in a fictional land called New York City....
In today's modern society, Fables live among the humans, or mundanes, as they like to call us. They have been exiled from their home. They have set up an underground Fable government to police and rule their own. King Cole is the man in charge, although the brunt of the dirty work falls to his next in command, Snow White. We open the series with the disappearance/murder of her sister, Rose Red. Bigby Wolf (Big Bad Wolf) is the Sheriff of the Fables and is called in to investigate.
Although completely different in tone than The Sandman, I think I might just love this book equally! It is a world where Snow White and Cinderella are both divorced from the womanizing cad, Prince Charming. Rose Red is a party girl that dates Jack (and the Beanstalk) but has promised her hand in marriage to Bluebeard. The Big Bad Wolf has the hots for Snow White. And Pinocchio, a boy for centuries, just wants to get laid!! Inventive, fresh, and witty, this book is fantastic! Taking old fairy tales and relating them to modern day is not a new concept, but this book takes the whole realm of Fables and puts them in one box. And it works so well!!
One of the best things about the book is the addendum entitled A Wolf in the Fold. This is purely prose, and it tells the tale of Bigby and how he rescued so many of the Fables from the invaders to their land. Fascinating and brief, we get just a peek at the man behind the wolf's clothing.
I don't think I will be able to read this series fast enough. Now I just have to FIND all the editions in the library system!! Although this may be a fairy tale, it is most definitely too adult for the younger set. Simply fantastic, I give it my highest recommendation!! 5/5