Earlier this month I wrote about our experiences from 2010’s Free Comic Book Day. This year’s FCBD was not my first experience with the event, however. That distinction belongs to 2009’s FCBD. Why do I bring this up, you probably aren’t asking yourselves, but I’ll pretend you are as it serves to further my anecdote? I bring this up because if it were not for 2009’s FCBD, I may not have made a particular purchase last night that I have enjoyed immensely.
Last night, while at our local Borders bookstore, I was reading Grant Morrison’s new Batman and Robin when Lindsey pointed out a trade paperback comic sitting on the shelf directly in front of me called The Stuff of Legend. I had not noticed it, being deeply ensconced within the story I was reading, but it was the first volume trade paperback of the comic book I had picked up on 2009’s FCBD. I remember finding the FCBD issue to be fascinating and enchanting, and was very glad to see that more of the story had been released in a convenient trade paperback form.
The Stuff of Legend starts off during World War II, with a boy asleep in bed. His puppy wakes him by growling and barking at the closet, from which black tendrils are creeping forth. The tendrils grab the boy and drag him into the closet, slamming the door shut. At this moment, the toys in the room stir to life, and begin discussing the events. The Colonel, a toy soldier, determines to rescue the boy from the Boogeyman, the boy’s abductor, and asks for volunteers to enter “The Dark” with him. While not all are willing at first, a handful of toys gather and enter the closet. Max the teddy bear, Quackers the toy duck, Jester the jack-in-the-box, Harmony the ballerina, Princess the Indian princess, Percy the piggy-bank, and Scout the puppy join the Colonel in his mission to rescue the boy and return him to his home. As they enter the closet, they become real, within a real world dominated by the Boogeyman.
I’ve described this to other people as a kind of dark fantasy Toy Story, and I still think that’s one of the best ways to describe it. The toys live, and they love their Master, the boy. They go to any length to protect and save the boy, even if it means their own demise. The writing is wonderful, and the art is amazing. This is definitely a comic to keep your eyes on.
-[insert FOR FRODO! here]