Saturday, June 03, 2006

Abadazad: The Road To Inconceivable

My favorite title from a company I had a lot of affection for (Crossgen) has been reborn in the form of a comic/prose hybrid from Hyperion Books. Abadazad: The Road To Inconceivable, by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog, is the first book in the series of Abadazad books for young readers. This first volume contains story from the first two issues of the comic. Much of the illustration has been done away with in favor of the sarcastic, angry prose of ten-year-old Kate, which was a part of the Abadazad comic in the first place, so it doesn't hurt the story at all. It stays pretty true to the feel of the original work. There's just a lot more prose. The story thus far has been flushed out by the creators, but nothing that conflicts with what has been told. It's all pretty much the same Abadazad many know and love, just formatted a little differently. Abadazad is a very imaginative world, featuring some colorful characters, and the pictures that we need to see are shown here. We see Queen Ija. We see the Shelloppers and Sour Flowers and the statue of the Floating Warlock. It's all still there, in color. The most effective part of the tale in the first few issues of Abadazad, I thought, were of Kate's relationship with her mother, and that's captured perfectly, still mostly in the original comics form. If you liked Abadazad the first time around, you'll still love it. If you haven't checked it out yet, I still highly recommend doing so. It is to be found in the children's section of bookstores, but let's face it: that's where the comic would have been found. It's an all-ages book, like Mouse Guard, like Bone. Hyperion seems to be giving these books a big push (not surprising since they spent around $2 million to acquire Crossgen's library for this specific title) and hopefully being packaged as it is, it will be enjoyed by a wider audience that it would have previously. I have yet to see the series progress past where the original comics had gone (only three issues came out before Crossgen went belly-up), but the second collection, The Dream Thief, is available as well (and in my to-read pile), and should delve into some new territory since we haven't had that for a long two years. Hyperion did a great job with these books. I commend them.

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