#1 The Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest
The first issue of S.M. Vidaurri's "The Storyteller: Witches" is a triumph and a failure of visual storytelling, combining text and images on each page to stunning effect. The sentences may as well have spiral forms, and the spinning wheels are just as likely to appear on one page as on another.
The tale is a collection of short stories, each of which has its own style and mood. Individual panels are stunning, but the pages don't connect to or follow one another, making the problem feel more like a series of beautiful posters than a flowing visual narrative. "The Storyteller: Witches," on the other hand, is a gorgeous work of art. It's still an entertaining tale that has plenty of action and suspense, but it's not as charming as in previous volumes.
The Storyteller is a seven-part series by S.M. Vidaurri, which he describes as "a tale of love and adventure set in World War I Europe." This issue, the nicest book you've ever owned, feels like a wonderful storybook. The entire book appears to have been painted in watercolours, and the comfort of it lured me in.
Despite its name, the magazine is not entirely black. There are a few slight variations, however, they are generally subtle. When I opened to one page with darker purples and filigree gold text that gleamed in the light, I exclaimed "ooh." The typeface used in this edition is also amazing.
His artwork melds the conventional with the innovative. Rather than being a set of panels, his designs are frequently one-page, single-image summaries of the story in the text, with thematic suggestions for what happens during the action described rather than a straightforward display of it.
Even if he does use panelling, floral or vine border will spread throughout the panels. However, while retaining the most basic elements of the tale, such as the prince and the witch, Vidaurri also emphasizes some of its most innovative characteristics, including large patterned borders, monsters, castles, and witches who resemble Little Red Riding Hood.
Even so, it doesn't feel much like a comic to me, and the pages don't flow together because of those same margins and layouts. Even the colour scheme changes drastically from one page to the next.
When the pages aren't linked to each other, it makes the book jumpy unnecessarily. Some two-page spreads might have helped with that, and I would have appreciated seeing Vidaurri attempt something bigger in a smaller format.
The legend of the Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest, which was written in 16th century Mexico, is a traditional folktale with all the essential features: princesses, witches, enchanted forests, and hereditary curses. Vidaurri creates a strong sense of place for this tale.
Despite the fact that "witches" is in the series title, the forest is really the protagonist. Despite its traditional structure, however, the story has some twists; it contains a feminist and environmentalist message within its conventional trappings.
The only acknowledgement of the name Storyteller is on the first and last pages, with a full-page painting of him and a closing outline of him with his dog, respectively. It's not as much about the series' style itself as it is about the spirit.
"The Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest" is a lovely story for all ages. It's an ideal method to introduce new readers to the strange, wonderful ways that text and image can interact.