Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just Read: Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen

If mice had their own pseudo-medieval civilization in a forest somewhere (I have no idea where this is supposed to take place, and human life doesn't enter into the story at all), Mouse Guard would be a documentary. As far as I know, they don't, so it isn't.

The plot tropes here are pretty well-worn in the fantasy field -- I won't list them all for you, but you'll recognize them when you see them, starting with the young hothead cop guard and moving on to the Secret Betrayer and other fun stuff. But having them all enacted by mice makes them all fresher. And even if the plot isn't breaking any new ground, it's told well and moves at a good speed.

The real star here is Petersen's art, which is detailed and expressive and tells the story very well. (I do have to deduct points, though, for his difficult-to-read, all-caps lettering style; I hope he'll tinker with that for future stories.)

So it's fun, it's adventurous, and it's a comic with both of those things but without people with their underwear on the outside (or any people at all, for that matter). That's all positive in my book, so I recommend it to anyone looking fora good sword-slinging mouse tale.


John Joseph Adams said...

I thought that book looked interesting. I saw it at BEA. I mean, who *doesn't* like sword-slinging mouse tales?

Anonymous said...

I read this a while back and thought that if the same exact story were told about humans instead of mice, with mediocre art, no one would have noticed or cared.

But, as you write, the mouse aspect and the fantastic artwork carry it well enough.

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