May 02, 2007

DUCK WEEK REVIEW: A Duck-Related Comic Gem!

Dungeon By Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, and Various; English editions published by NBM.

  • Dungeon Volume 1: Duckheart (96 pages, full color, $14.95)
  • Dungeon Volume 2: The Barbarian Princess (96 pages, full color, $14.95)
  • Dungeon The Early Years Volume 1: The Night Shirt (96 pages, full color, $14.95)
  • Dungeon Twilight Volume 1: Dragon Cemetary: Duckheart (96 pages, full color, $14.95)
  • Dungeon Twilight Volume 2: Armageddon (96 pages, full color, $14.95)

Please note that these are only the volumes available in English, and as of this writing, there is one more English volume that I have yet to obtain/read--expect another review in the future!
A series of graphic novels, originally published as Donjon in France, Dungeon tells the story of Herbert the Duck, his friend Marvin the Dragon, and their boss, the Dungeon Master Hyacinth (who, if I'm not mistaken, is a chicken). The main series focuses on Herbert's adventures, the Early Years sheds light on Hyacinth's life before he became Dungeon Master, and Twilight tells the of the last days of Marvin and the end of the world.

A fantasy adventure peppered with RPG references and filled with slapstick comedy, Tom & Jerry-esque violence, dark humor, and absurdism, Dungeon nevertheless depicts a complex world populated by sympathetic characters with great depth. The dramatic moments are poignant and never over-done.

Verdict: Awesome. It's really tough for me to convey just how much I enjoy this series. Economically, the comic book industry has been very healthy for the past few years, but in terms of content, there hasn't been much that has appealed to me. Dungeon is a very compelling breath of fresh air--the closest comparison I could draw is the widely lauded Usagi Yojimbo, another comic book tale of an anthropomorphic warrior in an ancient time. At any rate, Dungeon is highly recommended--give the first volume (Duckheart) a try! Just one word of warning--these books aren't necessarily for kids! Give it a read before you hand it to a wee one.

For More Duck Adventures In Sequential Art: The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa (256 pages, full color, $16.99)--the title pretty much explains it all!


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