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Tag Archive: David Wenzel


Wizard's Tale print available from davidwenzeldotcom

Today IDW Publishing is releasing a new printing of The Wizard’s Tale Originally written in 1990 and published in 1997 by Homage, a Wildstorm imprint before DC Comics acquired Wildstorm.  At first look The Wizard’s Tale impresses as a work of amazing classical fantasy artwork.  But the story itself is a fun bit of fantasy satire, and together the story and art form a standalone fantasy masterpiece in the realm of Willow and The Hobbit.

WizardsTale_cover

The Wizard’s Tale was scribed by Kurt Busiek, best known for writing superhero tales like Astro City, but also DC Comics’ weekly Trinity series, as well as Power Company, Conan and several Avengers stories, working across all the major publishing houses at one time or the other.  With The Wizard’s Tale, Busiek wrote a story influenced by works he was a fan of, including James Thurber’s The Thirteen Clocks and Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn.  The Wizard’s Tale has the sensibilities of both The Last Unicorn and The Hobbit, including plenty of wit, charm, and atmosphere.  Despite not having a fully fleshed out full-length novel to pull elements from, Busiek writes a story full of fairy tale and high fantasy characters and themes, including a dangerous journey, an improbable king, and a magical frog.  And Busiek even includes a recipe for Sunshine Cake at the back of the book.  Cake!?

Wizard's Tale--Incredible detail of bedroom by David Wenzel

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It’s only four days until Free Comic Book Day is here again, and comic book publishers have several interesting issues planned for this year.  Free Comic Book Day is always about getting new people into the local stores to check out all that comics have to offer.  So plan to grab someone and take them in to check it all out.  Use it as your excuse to buy Issue #1 of several new DC Comics “New 52″ titles scheduled to be released this week.  Or make a day of it and drag your friends to see The Avengers at your local theater after you pick up your free comics.

Tons of comic book writers and artists–creators we have been talking about all year at borg.com–will be on hand across the country (and beyond) to sign autographs.  Just check out this partial list, including many of this year’s Eisner Award nominees:

Ed Brubaker (Sleeper, Captain America) in Canoga Park, California; actor Burt Ward (Robin from the 1960s series) in Los Angeles; Philip Tan (Savage Hawkman) in Rancho Cucamonga, California; Gail Simone (Batgirl), Amanda Connor (Green Arrow) and Chuck Dixon (Batman, Green Arrow) in Port Richey, Florida; George Perez (Crisis on Infinite Earths) and Greg Horn (Ms. Marvel) in Sanford, Florida; Mike Norton (Battlepug, Green Arrow) in Chicago; Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Irredeemable) in Muncie, Indiana; David Petersen (MouseGuard) in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New Hampshire; David Wenzel (The Hobbit graphic novel artist) in Worcester, Massachusetts; Jason Aaron (Wolverine, Avengers vs X-Men) in St. Louis, Missouri; actor Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) in Omaha, Nebraska; Francesco Francavilla (The Lone Ranger) in Charlotte, North Carolina; actor Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Psych, Law and Order), in Hilliard, Ohio; Jeffrey Moy (Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes) in Madison, Wisconsin; and Nicola Scott (Earth 2) and Ardian Syaf (Batgirl) in Singapore.

And there are plenty of interesting free comic book issues offered exclusively Saturday.  Check out these titles:

   

   

   

   

Definitely something for everyone, and for all ages.

Comic book stores typically have other things planned, too, like giveaways, and specials on back issues, even cake.  More details and a store locator can be found at the official Free Comic Book Day website.  Don’t forget to check it out–it’s just four days away!

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Thinking about yesterday’s release of the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey prompted me to pull off the shelf one of the best book adaptations I have read.  And so we’ll start with a year-long series on Hobbit-y things to do while waiting for next December’s film release.

For starters, reading the original J.R.R. Tolkien books of The Hobbit and the three The Lord of the Rings books would be a good plan.

Absent that, The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic, is a stunning graphic novel book, both for conquering such a large volume of story and for creating some of the best fantasy art to appear in any work.  The book was adapted by Charles Dixon with Sean Deming, but the notable effort is from illustrator David Wenzel.  Originally published by Eclipse Books in three volumes in 1989 and 1990, years before Peter Jackson’s movies, The Hobbit graphic novel is a stunningly well-done companion to the Lord of the Rings films, even if Jackson hadn’t moved forward with the new Hobbit movie.

The Lord of the Rings has never otherwise been adapted in comic book form, and so it is a rare pleasure to encounter a visual adaptation of The Hobbit that is known for being so faithful to the original novel.  The current softcover printing was created by painter Donato Giancola, who we met this year at Comic-Con in San Diego:

Donato Giancola showing us a print of his cover for The Hobbit graphic novel at Comic-Con in July 2011

There is probably not a better way than this graphic novel to get “reluctant readers” excited about reading, and to get them to delve into the world of the Tolkien stories.

Considering this following page is probably the “least” of the offerings in the book…

Why the “least”?  Only because there is so much content to cram into this 134 page edition, even though every major plot point is deftly handled, much is left to be told to us, as opposed to being shown to us–this page is one of the few left to pile in a lot of information.  But compare that to more sweeping visual treats such as this:

… or this:

Not unexpectedly, several scenes in the new trailer appear to come straight from this adaptation (although there are only so many ways to visually depict some of the classic scenes from the original work).

Compared to other storytellings out there this work is worth reading–I have bought it as a gift for relatives over the years who like both high fantasy and comics.

Check out artist David Wenzel’s website to purchase prints of selected scenes from the graphic novel.

To learn more about professor and artist Donato Giancola, check out his website here.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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