cover image The Stuff of Legend: Book 1: The Dark

The Stuff of Legend: Book 1: The Dark

Mike Raicht, Brian Smith, and Charles Paul Wilson III, Villard, $13 paper (128p) ISBN 9780-345-52100-2

In this eerie graphic novel, toys come to life to defend their "boy." The said boy lives in Brooklyn in 1944; early in the story the Boogeyman nabs him from his room. His toys, including a lead soldier, a ballerina, an Indian, a piggy bank, a wooden duck, a jack-in-the-box, and a stuffed bear, as well as his puppy, band together to venture into the realm of the Dark to rescue him. There they fight not only the Boogeyman but other toys that have joined forces with evil. Despite the prominent role of playthings, this is not a book for children, at least not young ones. The plot takes some dark turns, and there is a sometimes ugly psychological tension even between allies. The taut, suspenseful story will engross older readers, however. Wilson's lovely sepia artwork infuses the book with an ominous feel and brings the complex emotions of the living toys to the fore. The volume gathers issues one and two of The Stuff of Legend comic, published by Th3rd World Studio, along with character sketches, a new story revolving around the soldier's war journal, and character sketches. (May)