I’ve known about David Petersen’s comic Mouse Guard for a long time, flipped through pages in the bookshops and game stores but never taken the plunge. Now I have and man, Mouse Guard is everything I wanted Redwall to be.
Basically the gist of the setup is that there are communities of mice, who are small and easily preyed upon. They’re the kind of mice that walk on their hind feet and sometimes wear armour but no pants. They have communities that trade with each other. And they have the Mouse Guard, who defend mice (from snakes and crabs and the like) outside their settlements.
In this first book in the series, a spy is selling information about one of the communities to a faction that wants to control it. There are three mice who stumble onto this plot and have to try and save their society. It’s awesome.
The art is all in browns and reds and is incredibly moody. It feels old, like this is a tale from long ago and it works really well.
There’s also a roleplaying game based on Mouse Guard, which is also supposed to be fantastic. It uses modified Burning Wheel rules and I’ve heard it really captures the idea of being small and heroic in a world where anything can kill you.
Good-bye Chunky Rice is Craig Thompson’s first graphic novel, from before Blankets became such a huge hit. It’s about a turtle who leaves home and his best friend, who is a mouse. He gets on his landlord’s brother’s ferry to take him away and the ferry captain cheats him and takes advantage of him and everyone is mean, and everyone everywhere is sad.
It’s a good little story about leaving home and why it’s something people have to do sometimes, even when it’s not the best thing for them to do. It’s obviously not the same kind of massive work as Habibi, but I liked it all the same.