Siegfried Volume 1 Hardcover – 15 Jun 2012
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About the Author
Born in 1974, Alex Alice possessed a passion for comics and animation from an early age. He began to develop graphic novel projects while at l Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Paris. In 1993, he met Xavier Dorison, with whom he began to collaborate on Le Troisieme Testament (the Third Testament), a story of adventure and esoteric investigation across Europe in the Middle Ages influenced by the likes of Umberto Eco. The first volume of that series came out in 1997, published by Glenat. In addition to that series, Alice began developing Siegfried, a retelling of Norse myths as a graphic novel trilogy."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you're here, you're probably here because you know Wagner's Ring cycle. If that's the case, then here's my recommendation:
If you're looking for a creative adaptation combining bits of the Norse mythology, bits of Wagner's adaptation, and bits of creative license, then this is worth your money.
If you're looking for a blow-by-blow adaptation of the operas, then I recommend P. Craig Russell's adaptation, which is practically a transcription from Wagner's stage directions.
Alex Alice adds flourishes that couldn't possibly make sense in a stage version and are perhaps a little too specific and personable for Norse myth. In this, Siegfried, neglected by Mime, is partially raised as the friend of a family of wolves. This idea adds a lot of life to the story, as well as a stunning - and wordless - touch of darkness.
Speaking of wordless, that's another interesting and wonderful thing about this book - there is no narration. The pictures tell the stories, and believe me, they do more than enough.
So if you like what I said here... well, buy it!
Story-wise I think it's nicely paced, with interesting layouts, and even if you're unfamiliar with Wagner's Ring saga you won't be left confused about who's who and what's what. All the characters have appealing designs, and did I mention how gorgeous the art is? Well, it's gorgeous. The second volume can't come soon enough.
The previous two reviewers seem to be split on the quality of the artwork. One was unimpressed, the other called it gorgeous. I'm somewhere in between. The backgrounds are frequently beautifully done and the icy beauty of the valkyrie staring at Siegfried while he sleeps on P. 42 in certainly esthetically pleasing but the characters in general have a more cartoony look than most Americans are used to in graphic novels. It is, however, common practice in French bande dessine which is what this work is.
The story is followed by supplemental material which for me at least was entertaining as well as informative. It is an interview of Alex Alice liberally illustrated with pictures from the book, the movie it is based on, the 1924 Fritz Lang movie Die Niebelungen, and related artwork by such disparate painters as Arthur Rackham and Shishkin. In it he discusses those who have influenced his approach to fantasy which among others includes Tolkien, Disney, Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, and John Boorman's wonderful movie Excalibur. He also talks about the sources, the sagas, mythology in general, and the reasons he had for making the changes he did. It's a detailed look at the creative process.
The bottom line: Is the book worth it's cost? For me the answer is yes. I eagerly await Volume 2.