Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152

Now that the final issue of the second mini-series has finally hit the stands, I sat down and read the entirety of Mouse Guard: Winter 1152. Written and illustrated by the very talented David Petersen and published by Archaia Studios Press, Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 follows the travails of Guard members Saxon, Kenzie, Lieam, Sadie as they travel with the legendary Celanawe on a mission to deliver an important invitation and gather needed supplies.

As it has been almost two years since I read Mouse Guard: Fall 1152, I had nearly forgotten just how good Petersen’s art is. Every page of this series is a visual treat. The level of detail in each panel is fantastic. And while I’m singing his praises as a graphic storyteller, I certainly don’t want to shortchange his work as a writer. The story is well paced and entertaining throughout.

This series is far and away better than anything the Big Two publishers are putting on the stands in recent years. It is a book that could easily sell in significantly higher numbers if there were more retailers whose ordering habits end when they hit the Marvel portion of Previews and don’t want to venture into the smaller publishers section. Those types of retailers are missing a great opportunity to open their doors to a wider demographic of readers, not only through Mouse Guard and other offerings from Archaia Studio Press but also from some of the great kid-friendly titles now being produced by Boom! Studios such as The Muppets, The Incredibles, and their recent acquisition of the license for Mickey Mouse and crew. In these tighter economic times, it won’t be surprising to see retailers of that mind go the way of the Dodo before long while their smarter minded competitors reap the benefits of offering a wider selection of quality titles.

In the meantime, if your local retailer is one of the unenlightened, you can always get the forthcoming collected hardcover of Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 through an on-line retailer. Once you get a look at it, believe me, you’ll be glad you did.
Sample pages of the series are available on the official Mouse Guard web-site.
Check them out and then order your copy as soon as possible.