‘Stuffed #2:’ Comic Book Review

Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around…

A little while back, I got hold of Benjamin Mikkelsen’s first issue of Stuffed in the IndyStash subscription box.  It was my pick of the box, and I’m now following his sites and eagerly anticipating any new entry into the series.  I just got my copy of Issue #2, and my level of excitement has grown exponentially.  The first issue introduced us to young Sam who is plagued by terrors of the mind that may or may not be part of the real world, as well.  In the final page, we see him gain a protector: his stuffed bear.  Now, the bear is cute, fuzzy, and a bit worn in his natural state, but when he steps into the fray, he stands taller than a man and is a hardened warrior, a gentle, yet strong, spirit protecting his charge.

I absolutely love stories like this, where the world suddenly becomes a much more terrifying and yet wondrous place.  It’s the same feeling I get when reading Neil Gaiman. There’s a sense of being just as off balance as the protagonists, and Mikkelsen’s got the tone down beautifully.  This second issue gives us an antagonist, and he’s freakishly terrifying and wonderful, with a smooth wit and wonderfully evil nastiness just oozing about him.  In my head he sounds a bit like Tom Hiddleston; it’s just the feel of the snide and casual acceptance of power that does it.  There are also some nicely placed moments of levity this time, breaking up the alternately dour/heartwarming dichotomy of the series, which are very welcome with the somewhat potentially heavy subject matter.

The art is expressive and as well choreographed as the first issue, and there’s a way that he conveys the telepathic nature of the bear’s communication that is supremely effective and wonderfully executed.  Every level of the page is executed extremely well, and the difference between the solidly physical motions of the “good guys” being set against the slightly jerky and sudden action of the “others” is utilized well to establish more distance between the two sides.

This is a book that I hope really takes off - on a personal level because I am loving what I’ve seen so far and really want more of it, and professionally because I think that Mikkelsen has a unique and interesting talent that could make for many good stories. If you want to get a copy, hit him up on Facebook or at his website.

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