Rick's Reviews > The Compleat Moonshadow

The Compleat Moonshadow by J.M. DeMatteis
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Oct 03, 07

bookshelves: comics

Under the editorship of visionary Archie Goodwin, Marvel's Epic Comics line, with titles such as Dreadstar, Coyote, and Starstruck, showcased some of the best and most innovative comics of the 1980s.

Premiering in 1985, the fully painted twelve-issue fairy tale Moonshadow by writer JM DeMatteis and artist Jon J. Muth continued that bold tradition.

The chronicles of the young, naive Moonshadow's life continued in 1986. Orphaned and raised by strange aliens and befriended by a cantankerous, foul smelling, hairy creature, by story's end Moonshadow uncovered his true nature through his experiences with fantastic literature and surreal worlds.

DeMatteis incorporated elements of his own life along with the works of William Blake and the Romantics. The captions throughout rhapsodize 19th-century writings. Muth's subtle use of color and emphasis on Victorian style art are the perfect complement to the text. Though pretty and passionate, Moonshadow can be at times rambling and dull. DeMatteis manages to rescue the book with well-placed bits of crude and funny humor.

Not only was Moonshadow the first fully painted comic book, it, along with Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, ushered in a new era of horror comics, stories that were not for children and appealed to both longtime comic book fans and newer adult readers.

Before 1986 there were no comics like this. Sadly since then, very few comics have approached this combination of artistic and literary tour-de-force.

(This review originally appeared on RevolutionSF.)
Link: http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.h...
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