Monday, October 3, 2011

Comic Review: Doctor Who: A Fairytale Life

Title: Doctor Who:A Fairytale Life
Author: Matthew Sturges
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: 11/22/2011
ISBN: 1613770227

(Note: This review only covers the first issue of the entire volume.)

I've only really watched the first season of Doctor Who and almost all of Torchwood, so all things considered I'm pretty much a newbie. However, one of the great things about the show is that as long as you know the very basics of the show, you can pick up the series just about anywhere and this comic is no exception.

What's better: an ugly reality or beautiful fantasy? This is the question the Doctor is forced to confront in a medieval fantasy world where Amy Pond finds herself reluctantly cast as a damsel in distress. Matthew Sturges, Eisner Award-nominated writer of Jack of Fables, spins this yarn, featuring covers by Mark Buckingham of Miracleman and Fables fame.

The story idea for this is pretty interesting, with Doctor Who and Amy traveling to a world where it's every Ren Faire addict's greatest fantasy. It's a world designed to resemble the idealized Middle Ages, complete with magic and fantasy. When you figure that we've got several of the geniuses behind Fables writing and illustrating the story, you would think that this would be an explosion of awesomeness. It's cool, just not as much as I was hoping it would be.

I loved that I could jump right into this without having to know any major details about the series so far, which will undoubtedly help bring in new audiences who (like me) are only really familiar with the basic premise of Doctor Who. However the story just seemed a little underdeveloped so far. It's intriguing enough to where I would want to keep reading, but not enough to where I'd run out and buy the volume straight away. I can only hope that the story improves later on in the volume.

As far as the artwork goes, I liked it. The artwork is nice and playful, which suits the initial feeling of the comic. Yates did an excellent job, although I don't know how well it would fit if the tone of the volume gets darker. I also adored the covers- Buckingham is a great artist and it makes sense to have him contribute to this in some form. I can only hope that later in the volume they had him do a little of the issues' artwork as well.

Overall this was entertaining but I just can't help but think that it's not quite the best that the world of Doctor Who has to offer as far as graphic novels go. Fans of the series will probably want to read this and keep their collection up to date and for newbies this will be a good jumping in point, although they'd probably be better off getting it as a library read.

3 out of 5 stars

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

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