Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #1 (of 6)
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard HC
David Petersen & Various
the first issue of the series already, and felt the same then as I feel now, that the showcase of talent on this anthology was pretty spectacular. Even if a creator only had a few pages to work with, they all did a nice job, although, like all anthologies, I preferred some stories to others. It was a nice touch to have Petersen illustrate the covers and the pub scenes that tied the book together, as it makes it fit in with the other books nicely that way. The story behind Legends of the Guard sees June, the owner of a pub, propose a contest for her patrons. Whoever can tell the best story will have their tab paid in full, while the losers will have to pay their tabs in a short amount of time instead of continuing to let them build up. I was satisfied with the way the story ended, which was no small feat, considering the talent involved with the stories, but it was a smart way to go. Overall, my favorite contributors, who were all showcased in biography pages in the back (along with a character gallery and other extras) were Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl) and Mark Smylie (Artesia), who did nice jobs with story and art for the allotted pages. Other creators involved in this mini-series were Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin), Terry Moore (Strangers In Paradise), Alex Sheikman (Robotika), Gene Ha (Top Ten: The Forty-Niners), Guy Davis (B.P.R.D.) and Jason Shawn Alexander (Queen and Country), among others. I'm glad that the series was successful enough to allow for another anthology (coming next year), as I enjoy seeing the different artists and their varying styles. I know that based on Bastian's contribution here, I will definitely be seeking out other work from the creator, and I hope to discover other such talent in the forthcoming anthology.