From the Mailbag March 27: Fantasy!

Fantasy rules the day this week! Fans of the series and/or novels may want to check out the handsome first volume of A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel (Bantam Books, $25). It collects the first six issues originally published by Dynamite, adapted by Daniel Abraham and illustrated by Tommy Patterson. I don’t know the story, but a flip-through shows nicely dark, moody art. (And some naked people, if you need to be warned/are looking out for that.)

George R.R. Martin provides a Preface that contains a brief history of comics as well as his thoughts on this adaptation of his novels. The “making of” bonus section has commentary by the artist and editor plus character and design sketches.

If you’d like to make your own fantasy comic, How to Draw Your Dragon (Harper Design, $24.99) by Sergio Guinot promises to show you how to create realistic drawings of these amazing bird/lizard creatures.

Moving on from medieval-styled fantasy, there’s Ryan Inzana’s Ichiro (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $19.99), the story of a Japanese-American boy who voyages to the world of Japanese gods. Based on a brief sampling, it’s a collection of wildly diverse scenes drawn with accomplished, distinctive brushwork. Weird to me that this is being put out by the children’s book division, though.

More obviously for kids is the June-shipping Earthling! (Chronicle Books, $12.99) by Mark Fearing in his graphic novel debut. It’s one of those “boy learns life lessons by winding up in alien environment”, this time literally, as Bud winds up in another galaxy, but it’s got an appealingly rough line, even if the aliens are all different-colored humans. (I like aliens that look really weird, instead of the usual “two arms, two legs, maybe antennae or an extra eye” approach.)

It was a good week for kids’ books, with Toon’s Shark King ($12.95) arriving. I’ve been anticipating this one since I found out it was R. Kikuo Johnson‘s return to comics. Looks like a fabulous, funny folktale.

I had no idea what to expect from Knuckle and Potty Destroy Happy World (Henry Holt, $12.99). It’s not a comic, but an illustrated text along the lines of Wimpy Kid, with plenty of images scattered throughout. Unlike those books and their many copycats, this one isn’t about life as a kid, though; instead, it’s pure fantasy. Knuckle and Potty are kids’ book characters who are fed up with being sweet and cute and lovable. They learn to visit the Outer World, where they encounter their ghostwriter and attempt to change his mind about writing them into an upcoming book. It’s an introduction to postmodern meta-fiction aimed at seven- to ten-year-olds, with lots of humor and goofy gags.

Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness (Down East Books, $14.95) is an adaptation of a true story from 1939, about a Boy Scout who survived being lost on a mountain for the nine days of the title. The art’s got a rough-hewn quality, but the images (especially the bear!) bring the struggle for wilderness survival alive.

I bought some things, too. Warner doesn’t appear to be promoting the recent release of Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season Two, Part Two, but since we enjoyed Season Two, Part One so much, I had to have it. This still doesn’t complete the series, though, with a final set, complete with never-aired-on-US-TV episode, to come later this summer.

Also exciting is Natalie Nourigat’s Between Gears, an autobiographical comic about the last year of college just out from Image Comics. I actually had a chance for a free online review copy of this, but the work is so distinctively lettered (integrated with the art) that it was unreadable onscreen. When I saw that Amazon had it for almost half off, I went ahead and sprung for it. I think I’d previously read the webcomic, so I have no idea why I didn’t know this was coming out. I’m really looking forward to reading big chunks of it at once away from the computer.


One Response to “From the Mailbag March 27: Fantasy!”

  1. James Schee Says:

    I’ll have to look for that Game of Thrones book, I’m a big fan of the show and book series,




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