‘The Reason for Dragons:’ Advance Graphic Novel Review

Contemporary fantasy is a very unusual concept of storytelling, bringing elements of modern life and fantastical archetypes together to form a compelling story.  A lot of the time, these combinations do not work, but there are times when the match-up is so interesting and unique that it just begs for my attention.  This graphic novel is one such story.


Very Brief Summary

Wendell, a young teenaged boy who is trying to live up to the notion of making his deceased father proud, gets himself involved in a world that he doesn’t quite understand, becoming enamored with a knight whom everyone believes is a mental patient.  Trying to impress a pair of bullies who won’t leave him alone, as well as showing his step-father that he’s his own man, Wendell sneaks into an abandoned Renaissance Fairground that is supposed to be haunted, only to run smack dab into the knight.  At first Wendell thinks the knight is off his rocker, placating him so he can get back home, but later he discovers that the man is more than just a former employee of the Fairground; he’s a true knight and gallant warrior in the face of a dragon from another world.  Months later, Wendell has patched things up with his step-father and has found a new passion for fantasy, forever remembering the brave knight who watched over him for just a couple of days.


The story is a rather touching display of a boy unsure of his place in the world, desperately trying to fit in with both his home life and his peers.  There aren't a lot of complicated or complex dynamics to the story, showing a pretty straightforward concept and solution to the problem, but there is an underlying message of how trying too hard to fit in doesn’t work out; it is always best to be yourself, regardless of how others think of you.  Of course, like many stories, Wendell doesn’t realize this until near the very end, and only because of the help of his step-father, showing that even the big-bad step-dad isn’t without a heart.

Something that I don’t really understand, however, is how the title of the graphic novel fits in with the story.  A dragon is present and referenced to several times, but what’s the reason for the dragon, other than a plot device?  In any event, the artistic style of the dragon is truly beautiful and terrifying. While it isn’t a style I have come across often, I find it a great pick for the rest of the art style of the story.

While not necessarily part of the main story, the end of the graphic novel has several short stories in different styles referring to the further—or past—adventures of the characters.  This provides a great deal of supplementary background on the characters, giving some more depth to their traits and actions than just the main story.  While I can’t see an additional main story being published without the knight somehow returning to interact with Wendell, I would love to see more short stories involving these characters.

Overall, I think the graphic novel is a good read for nearly any age, showing a simplistic, yet straightforward, story.  I would recommend this to everyone who doesn’t require high levels of action to enjoy a comic.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:30

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