Monday, January 30, 2006
Is this good timing or what? I finished Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim's first volume of Dungeon, "Duck Heart," just as Trondheim becomes the grand prix winner at the Angouleme Festival. I think this was a great introduction to the acclaimed creators. Dungeon is one of those books that seems like a no-brainer to have in comics, but once you've read it and look around for similar books, they're noticeably absent. It's a very cartoony, fun, and just wacky book full of monsters fighting goofy heroes. The closest thing to this in American comics is probably Jeff Smith's Bone, but this takes that sort of fantasy to another level. It's wildly creative in a way that just breathes life into the pages whereas a majority of the medium is stale. There is no peer for Dungeon, though its premise is simple: that of a dungeon where warriors come to fight monsters to win treasure. We see more of this type of thing in cartoons on Saturday mornings than in comics, which is strange considering how this type of storytelling lends itself to comics so easily. It can be cartoony and zany and still be smart enough for adults, which is, I think, what scares most people away from creating this type of book - this sort of storytelling usually isn't seen as both (which is a crock because we see more and more examples of it every year when it comes to animation). Let's hope the Angouleme Festival holds some weight for any creator itching to work on a project like this.