Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stuff of Legends

This is something I've been waiting for a while to post.

The Stuff of Legend Volume 1, Book 1
Story by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith
Art by Charles Paul Wilson III
Design and Colors by Jon Conkling and Michael DeVito
Published by Th3rd World
Second Printing, Expected Sept. 17, 2009

When I had asked someone to describe this book to me, they simply said "Toy Story meets the Battle of Normandy". Though, after read "Stuff", I can tell you that's the simple version of this multi-layered story. A young boy gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman and it's to his toys to save the day. Now, since the story takes place during WWII, you won't find any Masters of the Universe, GI JOES, ThunderCats, or any toy with multiple points of articulation here. However, you will find a stuffed bear, some toy soldiers, a wooden duck, and a jack-in-the-box. Seems like a motley crew at first, but they are more than dedicated to get the boy back from the Dark (the closet).

That is how Stuff of Legend begins, but quickly becomes something darker and serious as the toys actually step through the Dark as they become the real objects they represent. And then a battle scene takes place and it is honestly unlike anything I have ever seen. I won't get too specific with the details, but Wilson's art is something to behold.

Though it's not just the art of it all, it's the design as well. The page borders resemble that of an antique storybook and I was overwhelmed at time at the sheer creativity of it all. Even how the Boogeyman is constructed and voiced. He's a creature made of shadows and nightmares, easily any 6 year-old's worst fears incarnate. The revelation of his plan is evil and foreboding, but the book never crosses the over-the-top fright factor. The violence is a bit rough at times, but any eleven year-old should easily handle this.

This is a grand debut that is certain to only become grander as the story unfolds. I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood got it's hands on this and options it for an adaptation later down the line. We had reported that the first printing had sold out and the second printing will be shipping soon. At. $4.99, it may seem like a hefty price, but you're not just buying a comic. you're buying the beginning to a comic odyssey that I'm sure will be a modern classic.

Mike DeVito has already thanked me numerous times for such delightful press. That's all I really ask for at the end of the day.

But seriously, check this book out.

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