Mouse Guard has some real juice going behind it, so this next volume must be a kicker right. Well, let me first say how awesome each artist work is in this volume. To have so many people working on a cohesive story is pretty cool in my mind. I loved opening the next page in order to see what each new picture was about. Let’s back up though. June, who owns a tavern/Inn, decides to let one mouse win a competition in order to pay off his debt. The competition, tell the best story. It is quite an interesting piece and very clever grouping all of these stories together. Each writer/artist draws and tells their own story. It has so much fun mashing all these people up. I love hearing about multiple stories in one book or when the author takes on different perspectives of the same story. It is fun to read, and allows for a quick pacing. The mice are trying to outdo each other while each new story unfolds. The stories hit on all subjects from romance, love, fairy tales, superstition, adventure, and so on. I couldn’t help but get excited for the next story while still reading the one I was on. The anticipation is what won me over.
My favorite stories included “Levianthan”, “The Mouse Generals”, and “Back and Forth”. Even narrowing it down to these three was tough. They all were fun tales. “Levianthan” is like a global awareness story, where one mouse finds himself meeting other guards of the world. “The Mouse Generals” surrounds some mice who are so proud that it costs them everything. “Back and Forth” follows two little guys as they adventure out into the world trying to map everything they experience. It is a fun tale, with lots of stimulating towns.
The art is what blew me away with Mouse Guard though. Again my favorites included “Back and Forth” by Jackson Sze, “The Shade” by Jemma Salume, and “The Thief, The Stargazer, The Hunter, and the Tailor” by Corey Godbay. Some pretty heavy hitters were all throughout the comic. “Back and Forth” has tremendous art which at times looks like fancy clamantion. The shading, and the drawings make the pictures look 3D. It is incredible. “The Shade” was probably the cutest art. I couldn’t get enough of the cartoon mice, and their tiny little bodies. The art was so fun, I wanted to jump right in. And of course “The Thief” held all the rich colors in the volume. Each panel seemed to showcase a new color with deep and light shades. I love it.
All and all, I was impressed with my first Mouse Guard read. It did end a little quick for my liking though. It seemed like a fast read even after I slowed myself down. I enjoyed reading it so quickly though, because otherwise the tales would have been drawn out. All the stories felt like a huge bedtime story that I wouldn’t dare fall asleep to. Everyone, even a mouse, has some good stories to tell. And I always say that telling good stories is a talent, so June is a wise woman making these mice tell theirs. I fell in love with this volume, so yeah it is totally a kicker, and hope the magic continues in each one to follow.
Creators: David Peterson, Stan Sakai, Alex Eckman-Lawn, Nick Tapalansky, Ben Caldwell, Christian Slade, Rick Geary, Jemma Salume, Eric Canete, C.P. Wilson III, Cory Godbey, Bill Willingham, Jackson Sze, Justin Gerard, Dirk Shearer Publisher: Boom/Archaia Entertainment Price: $19.95 Release Date: 12/4/13