And Then I Read: TOOTH & CLAW 1

ToothClaw1Image © Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey.

There seems to be a rise in comics featuring animals that are somewhat human lately: BLACKSAD, GRANDVILLE and now TOOTH & CLAW all representing the genre well. As with the other two, this book stars animals that are most animal-like at the upper end, with bodies that are generally human. It’s actually an interesting visual idea that conveys information about the characters intuitively, as we react to them as we might to the animals they’re based on, but soon come to see them as human in speech, actions and thought. A visual shortcut not unlike super-hero costumes in some ways.

Writer Kurt Busiek tells an epic fantasy tale focused on a city in the sky where magic keeps everything aloft, from the economy to the actual city itself. As we learn, magic is waning in this world, though, and dealings with other characters who inhabit the surface of the world are getting tricky and dangerous. A powerful magic working by a gathering of top wizards provides more insight into the personalities and power struggles at work among them, but as the populace gathers to witness the magic, things begin to go wrong.

The writing is quite good, the art by Benjamin Dewey is excellent, and the colors and letters by Bellaire and Comicraft are impressive, though I have to say I found the balloon style sometimes hard to interpret, as it got lost in the paler art.

Recommended.

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