Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Saga of Rex

Michel Gagne

The beautifully illustrated The Saga of Rex collects the entire story that has been serialized through the Flight anthologies (volumes 2 through 7) over the past few years, telling the story of a cute little fox named Rex who has been whisked away from his world by aliens, to find himself in an ever-shifting environment where there are surprises around every corner.  It's a fun fantasy, very lush and colorful, that reads quite cinematically, and is mostly wordless with the exception of a little setup for the circumstances that Rex finds himself in.  Gagne depicts the action clearly in the alien terrain that Rex maneuvers through, complete with some nice cartooning and creative alien designs.  He also demonstrates quite the imagination that steers readers through this world where anything can really happen, never once letting things slow down or get boring.  The 200 pages fly by rather quickly without many words to guide you, but I can hardly complain at the brisk pace of the book that keeps you turning pages rapidly to see what situation Rex will find himself in next.  The only issue that I have with this book is that Gagne seems to attempt to make this story very epic, with celestial bodies almost destroying worlds, prophecies illustrated on stone walls to be fulfilled, alien beings destined to be together, etc, (not to mention the title being The Saga of Rex) and it's hard to build up the sort of suspense that brings events to a pulse-pounding fervor like that in an environment where anything can really happen.  The rules just seem to constantly change around Rex with his environment.  I never really get a sense of danger, which would be fine for the whimsical fantasy that this story begins as, but when prophecies and elements of grand storytelling begin to get involved, certain expectations arise and it just sort of keeps floating along with this fun little story, and I was left wondering what some of the events had to do with anything.  But whether it all comes together or not, I did have an enjoyable time reading this story, which boasts some very pretty scenes.

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