There’s a danger in loving something too much. The danger of disappointment. The risk you take that in becoming so invested in something, you either elevate it beyond what it actually is, or hold it to a standard it is never again able to live up to.
I needn’t have worried about The Stuff of Legend befalling such a fate. Though delayed, the first issue of its second volume – the Jungle – immediately recaptures the feeling of reading book one. The characters continue to grow, sometimes in surprising – though never unbefitting – ways. And the art from C.P. Wilson III never ceases to amaze. I can’t rave enough (lord knows I’ve done it quite a bit already) about the expressions he manages to give to these characters; the life he helps breathe in to the masterfully written story.
We also get an interesting revelation about the toys this time out. Apparently, none of them knew what would become of them upon entering the Dark. Specifically, they didn’t seem to know they would change, or how. Max muses about his transformation, and how his new-found size first took him by surprise. It’s the skill with which these revelations are handled through quiet character interactions and not bloated expository diatribes – or, worse yet, shoe-horned-in documentaries – that is particularly impressive. These are skills that some writers seem to have lost along the way.
Oh, and did I mention how frankly unnerving the Boogeyman is? Did you see Toy Story 3? Think the monkey and Big Baby all rolled into one.
Raicht, Smith, and Wilson are true artists, creating a world I am once again champing at the bit to return to. I wish they could bottle their gifts and share them with the other publishing companies out there. They’d make a mint. For now, I’ll just have to wait patiently for the next issue they put out.
The Stuff of Legend – Voume II: The Jungle, Book 1 gets 5 out of 5 bat-toting clowns. I don’t even care how insanely long the title is; it’s worth typing out.
Now that I know I don’t have to fear for the continued quality of this book, I’ll instead begin wringing my hands in unpleasantly anxious anticipation of a day when I’ll have no more Stuff of Legend to look forward to. Now that is a thought as frightening as the Boogeyman himself.