In almost every culture from the very earliest records we have, there are stories of the tricksters who use brains to triumph over larger, stronger, richer foes, frequently to aid people around them. Tricksters from ancient Prometheus—who tricked Zeus, stole fire, and gave it to mortals—to Loki, Anansi, Kokopelli, Lugh, Coyote, Crow, and so many more worked their clever, funny, and often helpful schemes.
Sue Vincent and Stuart France have added a page to that legend. But instead of simply retelling, they’ve pulled together the mystery and the dance, combined it with firelight and magic, and graphically presented an experience rather than a story. “I have seen them write in fire on the darkness…and heard the drums beaten with flaming brands.”
I can’t review this like a regular book, because my normal benchmarks—plot, pace, character development—are irrelevant. Oh, sure there are words—a new Trickster legend for Crow, and a tale-within-a-tale legend told appropriately by Punch, that most British of Tricksters. There are even inside jokes like the one in which the ancient Fox manuscript is lost when the original Sir Rufus Foxx has to flee the country after “disaster is visited on the family” by younger brother Guido Foxx (Guy Fawkes?).
But ultimately, all I can tell you is that this little book is more than the sum of its parts. The glowing artwork, with its puzzles and hints at so much more, is a much a part of the voice and the magic as the spare words. You can’t read this book as much as experience it. But if you do, you’ll know how art and fire and dance can combine to make magic. And just maybe a sky-full of stars too.
*I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
You may need to have seen Mister Fox in action before attempting a guess at this question, but - you'll certainly want to find out, if you haven't. Mister Fox are portrayed here as they wish to be perceived: liminal tricksters in the half light, dancing and cavorting and brandishing fire for your entertainment, while maintaining an aura of mystery and intrigue unheard of in this climate of celebrity. The words of this graphic novel are as ethereal as the illustrations and do justice to the atmosphere of the live event. This should be sold at their performances and anywhere else an enquiring mind may seek alternative inspiration - and ultimately lead them to the dance!