The Stuff of Legend Omnibus One written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III
We've all learned from the Toy Story movies that our childhood toys come to life when we aren't looking. We also know from our childhood that monsters live in our closets (maybe that's why houses in England don't have closets?) or under our beds, i.e. in the dark places. The Stuff of Legend combines these two ideas in World War II-era Brooklyn. At least that's where the story starts.
A boy is in his room with his dog and plenty of toys strewn about. Suddenly the closet door creaks open and black tentacles come out. The dog tries to stop them but the boy is pulled into the closet, into the Dark, a realm for lost and no-longer-played-with toys ruled over by the Boogeyman. As the now-animate toys in his room discuss, the boy needs to be rescued. Some of the toys volunteer to go into the Dark and save him. Once they are in there, they become "real" versions of their toy-selves, e.g. the teddy bear turns into a grizzly bear and the piggy bank turns into a swine. They have to fight against the forces of the Boogeyman which are made up of all the old toys the boy never plays with anymore. They also have to contend with the fantastical realm they are now in.
The story is very imaginative and the characters are interesting. The plot is fairly basic but some interesting twists are introduced and the mystery of what the Boogeyman wants with the boy remains unresolved. The production value of the book is very high--it's a hardback with good, sturdy paper and a fine collection of concept art in the back. I am definitely interested in reading more of the story.
Some samples of the art--the toys as toys and as "real" in the Dark (click to see larger image):
|Ready to go save the boy!|
|Entering the Dark town of Hopscotch!|