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Sunday, March 04, 2007

DUNGEON by Sfar/Trondheim

I wasn't sure what to expect from Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim's book DUNGEON - TWILIGHT VOL. 1 - DRAGON CEMETERY when I took it out of the library recently. I really liked Sfar's THE RABBI'S CAT, but wasn't as impressed with his VAMPIRE LOVES, and what little I'd read from Trondheim before (some issues of NIMROD) didn't make much of an impression on me one way or another. And then I realized that despite the "Vol. 1" right there in the middle of the title, this was actually the middle of a long saga (or the beginning of the last act, after the earlier EARLY YEARS and ZENITH, with some other side stories. Or something, I'm still not clear on it all. Here's English language publisher NBM's page on the series).

Fortunately it stands on its own as a good place to start, and turned out to be a really fun fantasy adventure. Fast moving, funny at times, with a lot of surprises as we follow an old and blind dragon warrior named Marvin going to his death, gaining companions like a seeing-eye bat and a young warrior rabbit also named Marvin (in honour of the dragon Marvin's younger exploits). Along the way they run afoul of an overlord duck named Herbert, a former companion of Marvin. And all that only scratches the surface of some of the weird concepts and characters that populate the book. And somehow it all works, with clear storytelling, fun scripting and some amazing character and setting designs.

I'm definitely going to have to read some more of this series, and see if I can figure out what exactly is going on. There's a lot of intriguing stuff in here.

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