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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comic Book Review: Mouse Guard

Written and Illustrated by David Petersen

An independent comic book about intelligent swashbuckling mice living the medieval era just like real knights if they were human beings. They have they own small mice kingdoms, own towns, cities, and other what nots just like us, only that in their story - there are no human beings. Just mice and other predators that we see in shows like National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

At first I'm like: Are you fucking kidding me? Yeah because it sounded like a children's story to me, but heck I gave it a try. 

Read Mouse Guard Fall of 1152 (which is the collection of the comic's first 6 issues) in only 30 minutes and damn I was hooked with this amazing story and detailed world of writer/artist David Petersen that focuses on the adventures of the  Mouse Guard - protector of the innocent and lowly mice and valiant defenders of Lockhaven (home of the Guard) - and their struggle to figure out and stop a sinister plot that hopes to bring down their whole kingdom and destroy the legendary Mouse Guards once and for all. Right after that is Mouse Guard Winter of 1152 which is basically the sequel of the first 6 issues and deals with the fallout of the events in the Fall.

Packed with a lot of action and great characterization, Mouse Guard treats the reader to a whole new universe filled with exciting twists and plot turns every page. In fact, Petersen goes right to the thick of the story right away and doesn't waste any time on putting his cute mice characters into some great swordfights. His pacing is fast, but he is able to maintain his character and story build-up as well which makes for a very cool read. Every mice is distinguishable in their own right, with Petersen giving them their own set of qualities so the reader would be able to relate to each of them in one way or another.

Great life lessons on things such as trust, betrayal, friendship, camarederie, integrity, dignity and honor -   can be seen as well within the stories of our little mice as they tread and journey through the dangers of hostile environments and of course, paths of the occassional predators like weasels, snakes, owls and many more. Imagine that. Mice teaching us lessons needed in our lives. Amazing.

The art is something to enjoy too, as Petersen puts all his imaginative worlds and story pieces to life with awesome pencil work and vivid colors that reeks of pure epic awesomeness/cuteness. And you can't go wrong with such beautiful art: you look at it and when its good - you go ahead and freaking read it. 

They might be tiny... but they are brave and DEADLY.

This is one bad-ass comic book series I tell you. Mice might be the main guys here, but they aren't trying to be cute. They can cut and pierce some flesh if necessary and its fucking awesome. Mouse Guard is something that a comic book fan should try reading if they're looking for a non-superhero themed book. Yep, not published by Marvel, DC or any of the top companies in the industry - but totally bad-ass. Even better than some of your monthly superhero titles!

Still not convinced? How about a planned film adaptation,  a role-playing game based on the same comic book that won a Best Role-Playing-Game awardmore prequel stories to come, and to top it all off, two Eisner awards for Best Graphic Album and Best Publication for Kids.?

And its a nice read for the little kids too. That gives you more reasons to check this one out. 

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