THE STUFF OF LEGENDS (comic book review)

It’s great to be a blogger.  A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming group of What If? titles, including a Hulk story written by Mike Raicht.  I noted that I wasn’t very familiar with his work, and he was kind enough to contact me and tell him a little bit about himself.  Turns out, he and Brian Smith have co-written a wonderful indie comic, The Stuff of Legends, a Third World comic about a boy in 1944 Brooklyn who is kidnapped by the boogieman and his favorite toys, who go to rescue him.  The story is an unveiled allegory for the fact that the boy’s father has gone across the ocean to kill Nazis.  The idea is original, but it feels somewhat familar–I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s because the toys, a soldier, a teddy bear, a fragile pig, are so lifelike.  We all had toys like this, and we all gave them similar personalities.  The writers identify with their subjects in a deep and meaningful way, and as a reader, the experience is rewarding.  You would expect a story like this to be child-focused, but this is an adult book as well (and probably not good for very young readers).

A child is kidnapped at the start of The Stuff of Legends

A child is kidnapped at the start of The Stuff of Legends

The art, exemplified above, tells much of the story as well.  There are many wordless panels, with nothing but beautiful (and often frightening) sepia images.

The book sold out quickly, and has gone to reprint.  I can’t recommend it enough.  It’s a comic book, yes, but you don’t have to love superheroes to love this work of art.

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