Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Comic Review: The Stuff of Legend

“The Stuff of Legend” is set in 1944 and begins with the Boy (not to be confused with The Boy from Cormack McCarthy’s “The Road”) being snatched in the dead of night by mysterious tendrils sprouting from the darkness in his closet. The toys in the room spring to life after the abduction, and quickly surmise that the Boogeyman has taken their Boy into The Dark, and it’s up to them to get him back.

The boy’s playthings convene to determine who will travel into The Dark to rescue the Boy. Max the teddy bear, Quackers the wooden duck, Colonel the toy soldier, Percy the piggy bank, Princess the toy Indian, Harmony the music box figurine, and Scout the actual real dog enter the realm of the Boogeyman. In our world the look like this:

But after entering The Dark, the look like this:


In this first volume, the toys fight against legions of the Boogeyman’s armies (comprised of the Boy’s neglected toys) and the maniacal mayor of Hopscotch (the board-game city) in their quest to find their owner.

“The Stuff of Legends” is colored in sepia tone, and the edges around the panels are made to look like the frayed edges of an old book. Sometimes this works to good effect, but half of the time it looks a bit goofy. Besides that minor layout gaffe, the book looks artwork by Charles Paul Wilson III is about as amazing as you would expect from somebody with a three in his name (very amazing!).

The story and characters by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith are both fascinating and endearing. It’s a fun and gritty take on the “toys/appliances come alive” trope, and it has a grizzly bear disemboweling cowboys (slightly out of frame. The book is all-ages, after all). It’s poignant and deliciously violent while still being accessible for younger readers. I look forward to reading more “The Stuff of Legend” in the future.

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