Keely's Reviews > Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Howard Chaykin
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Feb 26, 11

bookshelves: comics, fantasy, urban-fantasy, reviewed, sword-and-sorcery
Read from February 25 to 26, 2011

A lot of fun, much like the stories that inspired them. Though Chaykin's pacing is sometimes choppy, his use of the language is delightfully in-character. It's unfortunate that the series didn't catch on, it could have been a more humorous compliment to the many successful Conan comics.

As usual, Mignola is a delight, though it's amusing to see him at a much earlier stage, where his lines are more sketchy and his angular shading has that definitively early nineties 'edgy' look so favored in comics and Vampire roleplaying books. I love his draughtsmanship, particularly the buildings and statuary, which manage to be intricate and mysterious without relying on the obsessive miscellany of a Bachalo or Darrow.

It's always interesting to see how artists characterize Fafhrd and the Mouser, since they are not as narrowly-defined as Conan or John Carter. The Mouser, in particular, has always been a shifting, undefined figure in my mind, with the sort of average, forgettable face that lets a thief lose himself in any crowd.

Mignola's Mouser is a little more beefy and heroic, with sharp, Eastern-European features, which I found an interesting vision, and fitting for the character. I also appreciated Mignola's range of expression and the pure personality of his characters, something all too rare in comics, where wooden faces scream with an unsettlingly even mixture of joy, hatred, pain, and sorrow.

In the end, there's no replacement for an inspired artist.
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