Mouse Guard: Fall 1152
Story and Art by David Petersen
Reviewed by Bryan Bucco
Mouse Guard is a graphic novel following the adventures of 3 mice: Liam, Saxon, ad Kenzie, and no, they are not blind. What is a Mouse Guard you ask? What do they guard? Path’s my friend, paths to and from other mouse villages. They are the ones who make sure little mice are safe when transporting grain and other mouse necessities.
We follow our brave mice on a journey to prevent an attack on a peaceful mouse village, but in order to do that Liam, Saxon, and Kenzie must first track down some people, excuse me “mice”, and find out who is behind the attack. What I really liked about “Mouse Guard” was that it took it self very seriously. Yeah, they’re mice, but the world created by the author feels so put together that you will find yourself wanting to know more about it. In fact if you feel this desire, you don’t have to worry because there is a detailed description of various mouse occupations and mouse maps in the back of the book.
To be quite honest when I first saw the cover of this book I thought it would go the same route perhaps as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Luckily they didn’t; although Kenzie, one of the mouse guards, wears a purple cape and carries a stick (Donatello?), and Saxon, the red one, is very temperamental and physical (Raphael?). Besides those two characteristics, these mice are nowhere near the playfulness of the turtles. Although they seem fuzzy and cute, these mice make a mess like nobody’s business. They cut up large snakes, throw daggers through evil knights, pound some ale, and one mouse even gets devoured by a large crab (well to be truthful it was a normal sized crab but appears huge in comparison to the mice).
I am a huge fan of the artwork. It was kept simple and wasn’t too flashy, you could even say it was a little rugged. It complimented the story as well as adding something extremely pretty to look over. At times I found myself spending some extra time inspecting the background of each panel.
My only regret with this book is I wish I were 10 years younger because I probably would have loved this so much more, and I highly recommend it for the youngins, (even the oldies because it is an extremely quick read). Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a masterpiece, but it makes a story about 3 little mice fighting evil as close to “realistic” as you could get. Maybe it might even make you think twice before you place a cheese trap under your refrigerator and sever their little spines. You just might be killing a princess, or a shoemaker. - “Hail all those who are able, any mouse can, any mouse will, but the Guard prevail.”
About the Reviewer:
Bryan Bucco is student at Rutgers University and an editorial intern for Nickelodeon Magazine for Winter 2009. You can read more from him at http://lefthandedpanda.blogspot.com/.