Sunday, February 15, 2009

FIR Part Two: The ElseWhere Chronicles

Non-Buffyverse Related


What Is It?: The ElseWhere Chronicles- Book One: The Shadow Door
Who Wrote It?: Original story (French) by Nykko, translation by Carol Klio Burrell
Who Pencilled It?: Bannister
Company: Graphic Universe

REVIEW: The series was originally written in French and got a decent amount of acclaim, which you can read on the back of the book. I met the Graphic Universe team at Comic Con and they were some of the most pleasant people I've met there. The series is different because the format of it isn't anything I've seen before. It isn't a series made up of single comics, nor is it a series of graphic novels that add up to a cohesive story, per say. It's sort of a mix. The books are like really skinny trade paperbacks and are roughly the length of two single comics put together. The story continues over the volumes, so don't expect to buy one book and get a full standalone story. Thankfully, each volume is priced at an affordable $6.95.

I'll get to the art first. The character design is great, evoking the feel of some 90s cartoons such as Hey Arnold and Doug. We don't get a good look at many of the monsters, but all the creepy stuff--the scenery more so than the little we see of the creatures--is very well done. No issues with the art sections. The story itself is also very good, keeping the scares to a minimum in order to not terrify their target readers (children), but the risk factor is never taken out of the story. To throw in another Hey Aronold reference, the scares get about as edgy as that show did, but always throw in a little lightness to remind the kids that it's okay.

The weakest part of the book, for me, was the translation. Some of the conversations the characters have don't really seem to make sense, and a lot of the dialogue feels clunky, as if it were directly translated, word-for-word, instead of getting the general meaning and then making it make sense, like most of the best translations do. I haven't read the original French versions so the problem might even be in the actual dialogue, but that was the only major issue I had with the book. The only other thing I'd say is that the balloon placement is haphazard, and confused me. I read comics all the time, so I'm not sure how a child would understand who is supposed to be talking in some scenes when it's really hard for me, in a few cases, to decipher it.

Overall, the book was decent. I hope it'll improve down the line, but it's not a bad read if you're looking for something new and interesting for your kid to read.

VERDICT: Yellow. THE ELSEWHERE CHRONICLES series is pretty good. Give it a try.

Non-Buffyverse Related

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