Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Caves of Mystery

Here we have another wonderful chapter of The Adventures of Peter Wheat, courtesy as always of OtherEric of the Digital Comic Museum. Look for his afterwords, um, after.


This is my favorite issue of Peter Wheat—it's one of my all-time favorite comic books. I can still remember just how awestruck I was when I first read it a year and a half or so ago. I'll try not to bore you with my gushing too much, but this just still amazes me.

We start with a wonderful sequence with Peter turning back into himself, with some spectacular dialogue showing Peter figuring out that he's successfully changed back. Then on page 4, we see some monsters and the gnomes—and once again I'm torn on the coloring. I think the face in the tree is a little too emphasized, but at least it shows the colorist is paying attention. I suspect this was originally drawn as another full-page panel, no idea why it was changed. Page 5: the faces in the rocks are more subtle than the tree, and we see a goblin design Kelly has used elsewhere, including Fairy Tale Parade.

The sequence on 6-8 is just amazing in how strong a sense of place it has. We know exactly where everything is. There is such a level of detail in this whole issue; from using the spears to make the stretcher, to tall panels showing the cliff being scaled.

And the expressions on the characters! The gnomes, going from practical when rescuing and moving the queen, to marvelously sad once they have her safe, but cannot wake her, to fierce when they size up Peter; then sad again when they cannot wake her. Utterly amazing work, even by Kelly standards, I think.

Then more games with scale: a human-size door with a lock at gnome level; followed by a full-panel shot of Father Time showing how huge a human is compared to Peter, the Fairy Queen, and Greybeard.

This issue doesn't necessarily have any one bit I can point to as "look at how brilliant this is", but taken as a whole, this issue is a masterpiece. Comic book storytelling simply does not get any better than this.


  1. Again I'm in awe of Kelly

  2. I have just gotten a 32" monitor & I do not have to increase size to read--another beautiful story-----charlie

  3. I agree.. This is one of the best stories I've ever seen. The artwork is incredible! I had to laugh at the Frog Peter's face on page one. The look of frustration is clear, but seeing it on the frog's face is a nice twist.

    Thanks to everyone for bringing this gem out of obscurity!

  4. This is awesome! I love this work. I am a bog bone fan and it really reminds me of Bone in a lot of ways. So nice!