Welcome to the Jungle (Graphic Novel 4 of The Dresden Files)
Written by: Jim Butcher
Published by: Del Rey/Dabel Brothers
[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0345507460″ cloaking=”default” height=”180″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gGipi1LPL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”buzmag-20″ width=”128″]Harry Dresden. What do I need to say about Harry Dresden? Who doesn’t know who Harry Dresden is? More specifically, who would be perusing this blog and not know who Harry Dresden is?
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last couple of years, Harry Dresden is the only professional Wizard listed in the Chicago phone book. He is a consultant to the Chicago PDs’ “Special Investigations Unit”, led by Lt. Karrin Murphy. They’re the cops that get all the weird cases, and have to explain it all away.
Harry deals with things that go bump in the night, and has to walk the fine line between the mundane world and the darker world to which he, as a Wizard, belongs. He has to deal with the White Council, who oversees the activities of all wizards, his honest to goodness Fairy Godmother (and other fairies, if he can’t avoid it) vampires, werewolves, necromancers, demons, weird cults, and just basically everything bad that there is in the world that someone could possibly get involved with. Doing the right thing doesn’t pay very well so he’s usually broke and most of the time someone’s trying to kill him. His love life is pretty much always in the crapper too. A few good allies and a lot of sarcasm are probably all that keeps him alive and sane.
Dabel Brothers Publishing produces graphic novels, and has become known for prequels and adaptations of popular titles in the fantasy genre (such as the Mercy Thompson series) . In the spring of 2008, they brought audiences a graphic novel version of Jim Butchers’ Harry Dresden.
A prequel to the first Dresden Files novel ([easyazon_link asin=”0451457811″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Storm Front[/easyazon_link]), the initial four-issue series entitled Welcome to the Jungle finds Harry called in by Special Investigations to investigate a bizarre and grizzly murder at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
The story was written exclusively for the graphic novel by Jim Butcher himself and illustrated by a rising star in the business, Ardian Syaf. Its pure Harry Dresden. The story is set previous to Storm Front. Harry is his wise cracking self. Karrin Murphy is a pretty little hard-case who’s perpetually scowling or, alternately, glaring at Harry because she knows he’s keeping her mostly in the dark about what’s really going on. Bob the skull is his usual lecherous, good-humored know-it-all self.
I have to say, it’s nice to see the characters we’ve only seen in our heads in splendid graphic form (Yes, I know there was a sci-fi channel show, and I humbly ask that you not bring up that abysmal crap-fest) and actually looking like you might expect them to look. I think Ardian Syaf’s Dresden looks more like Harry than the Harry depicted on the covers of the novels, hands down. And Karrin, oh Karrin, she has her signature blond hair! Apparently the sci-fi channel didn’t have the budget for a good wig. (I know, I asked you not to bring it up. I didn’t say I wouldn’t.)
Rather than buying the individual issues I purchased the hard cover anthology, and I was not disappointed. This sturdy volume (conveniently the same size as my hard backed Dresden novels) has a beautiful dust jacket with a painted cover from one of the novels on the front and a bloodied Harry brandishing his blasting rod on the back, an Ardian Syaf original. The pages are glossy, and in addition to the four issue story at the back of the book there are full page covers from the individual issues (including the alternates) so you’re not loosing out on any of the cover art. This is followed by thirteen pages of concept art, some black and white pencil sketches but mostly full color. Among these are a couple of scenes from Storm Front; my favorite captures the precise moment Bianca finds out the hard way that Harry has a pocket-full o’ sunshine.
If you’re a Dresden fan, Welcome to the Jungle is a must-have.
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