The Stuff of Legend: Not the First Time Your Toys Have Come to Life…
Posted August 18, 2009on:
You know, even though the first Toy Story came out when I was 11 or so, and I read the whole Indian in the Cupboard series years before that – I never entertained the notion or fantasy that my playthings might be sentient. I had a stuffed dog (named Doggy) that I was pretty desperately attached to, but not once did I even consider for a second that my love “made him real.” So what on earth posessed me to pick up a comic book about living toys, I have no idea – but this book is good. Really good.
First off, I’ll say what everyone’s said about this book; the art is prettttty. It looks like a vintage children’s book – all pen & ink in sepia tone. I can’t even do it justice, I’m a damned comic book nerd, not an art critic. There are probably technical terms for why this stuff is so great, but I don’t know them. It just is. Charles Paul Wilson III somehow made a stuffed teddy bear look more intense than even some of the caped guys.
Heads up, some spoilers ahead.
Mike Raicht & Brian Smith’s The Stuff of Legend takes place in 1944. A young boy is kidnapped by a closet-dwelling sinister shadow and his toys resolve to brave ‘The Dark’ and rescue him. They must pass into the Boogeyman’s realm and when they do, they become real. A real bear. A real soldier. An Indian princess. Even the Jack-in-the-Box is freed from his box. The catch though, is that their personalities and all of their motivations stem from whatever the Boy projected onto them during play time [I absolutely adore the line, "The Boy didn't even have the courtesy to tell this fool that sometimes getting to the top of the hill is only the beginning of the fight." Plus, Scout (the dog) is so fucking cute! COME 'ERE, BOY! -R].
What begins as a mostly juvenile premise – kidnapping notwithstanding – proves itself to be anything but a young reader’s title after the toys fight their first battle against the Boogeyman’s forces. A piggy bank is tempted. A man gets ripped in half. In other words, shit gets real. But The Stuff of Legend never loses it’s vintage children’s book aesthetic, which tempers the violence somewhat. The first issue costs $4.99, but with a whopping 52 pages, it’s worth it.
I really don’t know what you should drink with this.
[Man, I dunno. Warm milk? With, like, booze in it? What do the kids drink nowadays? -R]
I would say hot buttered rum, but that shit is nasty. Maybe some kind of spiked hot cocoa. Anyone know how to make such a thing? Because that would be AWESOME. Like this book.