Artzine, Stacey Bru, staceybrucomics.tumblr.com, $4.50
I’m a guy who likes fantasy in theory. In practice, I don’t care to read long multi-part series of novels, I don’t play video games, I don’t play Dungeons and Dragons. So how am I to get my fantasy fix? A zine like this one will do the trick.
The conceit of this series of illustrations is brilliant: trophies of past battles that now sit in a castle. We are warned that not all the trophies are dead, so it’s best we don’t touch anything. We are then treated with a guided tour of mythical beings whose heads have been mounted on the wall. It’s quite funny and wonderful to see the kappa, the troll, the wizard and the faun. While there is a caption for every trophy, the reader is left to imagine the battles that produced these souvenirs.
The majesty of this work is in providing a space for the imagination to run wild. That being said, I hope Stacey Bru has a chance to illustrate some long-form fantasy of her own devise in the near future. Her minimal drawings are evocative without being cheesy (a common trap, in my mind, of illustrating high fantasy). This handmade zine is recommended to any reader who is a fan of whimsy and wonder. (Neal Armstrong)