Comic Stack 04/29/15: Urban Fantasy Novels Turned Comics

ComicStack

After a hectic work week for me, I finally got some down time to spend catching up on some comics! This week I visit some familiar faces and one new face. This week’s comics are based on popular urban fantasy novels. I revisit the worlds (now with PICTURES!) of Mercy Thompson and Harry Dresden comics based on the first book of their respective series. I had a couple more I wanted to include, but I wanted to think about the other two a bit more first before I introduced them. The first comic I read based on a book was probably Anita Blake’s Guilty Pleasures. It’s been a while back. I remember enjoying it for the most part while snickering about how curly and fabulous everyone’s hair was. I’m sure I still have a shot of this awesome hair somewhere. Ah! Here we go.

Guilty Pleasures

With comics, you have to get to the heart of the matter, especially when dealing with comics based on books. Writers are forced to choose what’s important and can the rest while (hopefully) keeping their readers engaged in the story.  However, I do think that urban fantasy can work better with the comic format than some other genres. So, how did these first issues fare against my sometimes discriminating tastes? Let’s find out.

Moon Called 1Moon Called #1 by Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence (writers), Amelia Woo (artist)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural

Mercy Thompson is a walker, nearly the last of her kind. She has the power to turn into a coyote. Despite this, she still straddles the line between the magical world and the mundane world, not truly belonging to either. Enter Mac, a boy who is obviously a werewolf, but everything points to him being a clueless new werewolf. And he’s obviously on the run from something. Mercy doesn’t ask questions. She just gives him a job in her garage despite the fact that she knows trouble is likely to follow him.

Moon Called

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I always go into these comics a little skeptical that they can capture what makes me enjoy the novels. I think this particular book did a fabulous job, especially as a #1 to really get to the meat of what’s going on while providing the reader some cryptic things for readers to chew on that will be revealed during the course of the series. This book gave me a strong urge to reread the first book in this series, too. Typical of the genre, this spans over two volumes for one book (because seriously how else are they supposed to get as much of the story out as they can?), so I’ll be picking it up soon (and probably rereading the first book, too).

Storm Front 1Storm Front #1 by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers (writers), Adrian Syaf (artist)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural

Harry is called in by the police department on a case where two people’s hearts look as if they’ve literally exploded from their chests. Believing this couldn’t happen by ordinary means, Karrin Murphy  tries to get an idea of what happened by allowing Harry to look at the scene. Harry also finds himself part of a mystery to find out what happened to a woman’s husband (a husband who dabbled in the arcane) while staying off a local mob boss’ (John Marcone) grid.

SF1

Honestly, it actually hasn’t been that long since I reread this novel, and while the details are familiar, my memory of this novel is pretty hazy. When I say the first Dresden book is pretty unremarkable for me, I mean it. I’ve read it twice and nothing ever really sticks from that book for me, and I fear the comic is going to be the same way. This isn’t a bad comic, but there’s just nothing special about it for me. Two things, though. Karrin definitely looks similar to how I see her in my mind, and the colorist seemed to forget midway through the page that Susan’s eyes were brown and that drove me nuts for the few pages I had left to read. I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of this volume. I might just skip on over to Fool Moon instead.

8 Comments on “Comic Stack 04/29/15: Urban Fantasy Novels Turned Comics”

  1. Those curls really are fabulous. 🙂

    I recently reread Storm Front with group and it was so weird, mostly because Harry was investigating alone- I really missed the gang. When it comes to comic, only thing worth seeing in Vol.1 is Toot-toot, imo. 😀

    I always thought Moon Called is really good comic material. I have to check it out.
    Great post, Tiara . 🙂

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    • I may flip through the rest of it just to see Toot-Toot! But really, I was just “meh” about it, much like I’m “meh” about the actual book. I loved Fool Moon, though. I can’t wait to see Tera West! Moon Called definitely works as a graphic novel. Maybe much more than some of the others I’ve happened to read. I’m looking forward to see where its going.

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    • I really enjoyed the Mercy one. It translated very well into comics. I can’t say that for all of them, but hers was splendid.

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  2. I tried a Dresden one as well as the Anita ones back in the day when I still liked those books. But ultimately I decided I prefer the books. I like comics but not I guess the ones based on UF series that I like.

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    • Anita Blake’s was okay. I read it some years ago, and I don’t remember having many qualms with it aside from the hair. I wouldn’t recommend the Dresden one, I don’t think. Maybe the later ones are better, but this one just didn’t do it for me, but I’m not the biggest fan of the first novel either.

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