cover image Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Regis Loisel. Soaring Penguin, $49.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-908030-07-8

French comics artist and writer Loisel (Roxanna and The Quest For The Time Bird) has created a substantial saga following Peter Pan from Victorian orphanboy to the hero of Neverland. It's beautifully drawn in the European style with exaggerated human figures against lush, detailed backgrounds. Peter encounters for the first time all the familiar favorites %E2%80%94 Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys %E2%80%94 but Loisel's portrayal is darker than Disney, more mythic than the musical. His fine lines are a superb style for both button-nosed kids and dastardly pirates and his action sequences are crisp and soaring. Buxom Tinker Bell, with big anime-style eyes and zaftig curves, steals nearly every scene. The coloring especially is exceptional, drawing the eye to foreground figures while still setting them in an organic world rather than simply popped against a background. Loisel's energetic, reflective script gives Peter the perfect springboard adventure that holds Barrie's Peter in reverence but is not shackled to the conventions of the original. This isn't a book for kids (bare-breasted females, gore, Jack the Ripper, swearing), but adult fantasy fans will find it a treasure. (Oct.)