Posted Nov 7, 2010 in Arts, Cool Shit | 1 Comment

The Comics Pimp – Of Mice and Comics

Some of the smallest mammals in the animal kingdom have made a big splash in the past few years. Mice are featured in two of comics’ hottest books. The first, The Mouse Guard by David Peterson, tells a rich tale of a corps of mice soldiers whose job it is to protect their fellow mice from predators. Considering the size of mice, that means a lot of protecting.

The Mouse Guard is most impressive because of the detail author/artist David Peterson instills onto every page, from the obviously rich history, to the artwork.  Unlike most comics, which use pencil and ink, Peterson uses etchings, enhanced greatly by colors that reflect the seasons. The first volume, Fall 1152, relies on oranges, reds, and other earth tones, while the second volume, Winter 1152, as its title suggests, relies on the cool hues of the frigid season.

Check out the web site to see what I mean. You can download a Mouse guard song, which is perfect to play as you read the book. There is even a printable PDF of Mouse Guard finger puppets!

Peterson has won two Eisners for the series, the equivalent of the Oscars. The Mouse Guard is an enjoyable read regardless of age, but it’s completely suitable for children, who will more than likely love the bright, detailed artwork.

The second book, which is superficially similar to The Mouse Guard, is The Mice Templar. It tells the tale of Karic, a young mouse with dreams of the legendary Knights Templar. His world is suddenly torn apart when the mice’s most vicious foes, the rats, destroy his village and kill and enslave its denizens. Karic then embarks on a quest to reunite the Mice Templar and save his fellow mice. The Mice Templar is not a book appropriate for kids, since it is not above showing blood and violence.

Bryan J.L. Glass writes the Mice Templar. The book is drawn by a staple of comics for more than 10 years, Michael Avon Oeming, who has worked with industry heavyweight Brian Michael Bendis. Nowhere has Oeming’s artwork ever been more suitable than on The Mice Templar, where the contrast between his thin scratches, heavy lines, and thick shadows reflects the harsh world of mice. Check out the main site for information and artwork.

Lastly, if you want a quick look and summary of what these two series have to offer, you can view these Youtube trailers.

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  1. Don’t forget Maus!

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