I love William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood series. The picture books, the novels, the movie… they’re all a lot of fun. I’m sad that the movie—which...moreI love William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood series. The picture books, the novels, the movie… they’re all a lot of fun. I’m sad that the movie—which is really good—didn’t seem to get much attention, and I’m sad that it appears that the next novel looks like it’s the last one. Still, they’re all quick enough reads that I can go back and read them all over again.
This latest novel brings the character of Sanderson Mansnoozie, the Sandman (geddit?) into the fray, after having had his origin told in a picture book. While each book in the series builds from the last, this one is very much an installment in a serialized tale. Following the capture of young Katherine in the previous volume, the Guardians search for their friend. Along the way, we learn more about the evil Pitch, his daughter, Mother Nature, and we see the Guardians begin to set things up for what may be the final battle.
As with previous books in the series, I really enjoy the mythology Joyce is building. It’s an epic adventure featuring Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Mother Goose, but it neither feels silly nor overly serious. The books have the tone of an oral folktale, one that has been told again and again over generations. And yet, they also feel focused and detailed. While this time around, we don’t get too much insight into most of the characters, we do learn a great deal about Pitch, Sandman, and Nightlight.
Unfortunately, it felt as if this volume had fewer illustrations than previous ones. I really enjoy Joyce’s artwork, so that was a shame. Also, this feels less like a complete installment than setup for what will come next. Having said that, the background information this book provides more than makes up for that. And since I am totally enjoying the series as a whole, I’m okay with installments that expect me to read what came before and what will come next.(less)
Collecting the first six micro-series issues, each one focusing on one of the "Mane Six" lead characters from the popular TV series and toy line, this...moreCollecting the first six micro-series issues, each one focusing on one of the "Mane Six" lead characters from the popular TV series and toy line, this was a lot of fun. While all very much in keeping with the tone and style of the show, each story--written and drawn by different creative teams--had its own distinctive voice and feel. Similarly, each character had a story appropriate to their personalities, giving us a range of tales from action-adventure (Rainbow Dash), character drama (Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and Applejack), and humor (Pinkie Pie and, arguably, Fluttershy). IDW and Hasbro get points from me for allowing so much individual expression to show through a licensed comic, and not forcing creators into a cookie-cutter house style. Lots of fun for folks already familiar with the series.(less)
Cassie Zukav is a weirdness magnet. After graduating from college and driving across the country, she found herself in Key West, FL, where a planned t...moreCassie Zukav is a weirdness magnet. After graduating from college and driving across the country, she found herself in Key West, FL, where a planned two-week stay has turned into a new life for herself. A life that includes dragons, nixies, nymphs, Norse gods, and a really kick-ass band. Ragnarok and Roll collects all the Cassie Zukav stories to date (three previously published, six new) plus her not-quite-in-continuity first appearance from 1997. The writing is light and breezy, with the true strength of these stories lying in the narrative voice and characterization. While the stories aren't overly complicated, and sometimes feel as if they wrap up a little too quickly, the charm of the characters carries them along. It's a lot of fun, and I definitely hope we haven't seen the last of Cassie and her friends.(less)