5 December 2014

Loving Mouse Guard by David Petersen

I had been tempted by Mouse Guard for some time, and even bought the first volume as a gift, but had never found the time and the opportunity to read it before. Then I bought it digitally.

The problem with paper comics is that you have to be near a comic shop when you want to buy one (or succumb to the devil Amazon) and you have to be near the comic when you want to read it. With digital all you need is an iPad to do everything and I always have mine with me.

As is increasingly the case, the spur to buy Mouse Guard was a ComiXology quick sale (yes, I know they are owned by Amazon now but needs must), which had the first three volumes at £2.99 each instead of the usual £7.99. That worked out at about 50p a comic and was far too great a temptation for me to resist, so I swiped and touched the glass a few times and they were mine.

The story of Mouse Guard is fairly traditional anthropomorphic fantasy that sits somewhere between The Wind in the Willows and Lord of the Rings. It is both very cute and little dark. Some of the scenes are just beautiful, bringing back thoughts of people like Beatrix Potter and Tracey Helps (though not as twee as either of them) while in other scenes heroes die. There has been at least one significant death in each of the tales that I have ready so far.

The story does enough to entertain but it is the art work that has won Mouse Guard its reputation, as I hope this cover from the second volume shows. The owl, injured in an earlier encounter, had deadly intent in its eyes while one of the Guard stands small and defiant before it.

Mouse Guard is a sumptuous comic and I am loving it immensely.

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