Dresden Files: Fool Moon Vol 2, Jim Butcher, Mark Powers & Chase Conley

Dresden FilesFool Moon Vol 2

Jim Butcher, Mark Powers and Chase Conley

Diamond Book Distributors
Publication Date: Mar 12 2013

I grew up in a world where comic books were ubiquitous. I loved them and read a lot of them, though I strongly favored DC over Marvel and had a particular passion for Superman.

I’ve had to do a bit of mental gear-changing to wrap my head around comic books as “graphic novels.” As far as I can tell, these are comic books in all but name. They are more expensive, have much nicer covers, far better bindings, a significantly higher class of illustration and more complex stories to tell. They are also have more pages.

For all that, I look and see a really expensive comic book. It doesn’t mean I don’t buy them. I do. I have an almost complete set of Asterix, several graphic novels by Kim Harrison and the full Tin-Tin series. This kind of thing is not new. It’s been around a while. What’s new is nomenclature, not concept.

All of the preceding is to explain I am familiar with the genre and not saddled with prejudice toward it.

I love the Dresden Files and have read all of the books. This was the first graphic version of Harry Dresden I have seen and the events in the story were familiar and taken from the novel of the same name.

This is part two of a graphic presentation of “Fool Moon.” I didn’t read part one, but I don’t think that’s the issue either. It’s the writing.

I am a Jim Butcher fan. I love the way he writes. I love Harry Dresden, his crazy quirky personality and the strange, wonderful world he lives in.

Much of Jim Butcher’s charm as an author is his cleverness and wit. In the midst of violence and chaos, with blood and death raining down in every direction, Harry has a sense of humor. He is funny, always ready with a wisecrack and a joke . It’s a significant characteristic of his writing and his character. It’s a big part of what makes the books special. The sharpness of the writing makes the stories addictive and great fun to read.

The graphic version seems to have had a humor excision. The wit, puns, literary allusions are gone … leaving violence and gore. Yes, it’s Harry Dresden. It certainly looks like Harry. Everything is beautifully drawn, lots of attention to detail … but the author is MIA.

So, as a big-time Harry Dresden fan, I might buy the book if I got it very cheaply. Otherwise, I would probably skip it. Liking the illustrations — and I do — is fine and dandy, but the words are for me the essence of a book. I dare say I am not alone in this. Readers may like pictures too, but first and foremost, we love words.

I don’t see why the quality of the dialogue could not be improved. I can think of a lot of ways at least some narration could be added. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of pages, just something to make it feel like Jim Butcher played a role in the production. His name is listed as one of the authors, but I don’t feel his magic.

I am sure this book (remember, this is part two of two) will find a niche amongst his many ardent fans of which I count myself as one, but for me, this wasn’t Harry Dresden or Jim Butcher.

I wanted to love this book. It’s not awful. The illustration is classy, if a trifle cluttered, but felt true to the material. From a purely visual point of view, it’s a pretty good representation of Harry Dresden. But as a book — for me — it fell rather flat.

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When I Could Fly

Do you remember flying? I do.

When I was very young, before I was five, I could fly. I remember clearly. I could close my eyes, think “up in the air” and fly. I never doubted that I could. After I started school, I couldn’t fly any more. The magic went away.

Free Bird

These memories go back at more than 60 years. That’s a lot of years. Memories usually fade, become dim and gauzy over long decades, yet these remain clear. I remember where I was, how I felt, what I saw. How I flew. I have no idea of the physics or the scientific probabilities involved. I just know it happened and have never made an effort to apply scientific analysis to what clearly won’t lend itself to that kind of scrutiny. I could never prove the veracity of my memories.

The Flying Baby
Flying Baby

Normally I’m very logical. If anything, I tend to be overly analytical but I recognize when something defies logic.

I have been touched by the inexplicable several times, leaving our Pastor to ask me if I required a picture ID before accepting that I had been “God-touched.”

Thing is, I never doubted I had been touched, though lacking a picture ID, I can’t say which entity was involved. I have been twice restored to life and issued an explicit (and apparently one-time only)  invitation to dedicate my life to a particular path. At the time of the invitation I was nine months pregnant and could not accept … and no further invitation ever came my way. I wish I could have said yes.

EverOn-MultiLayer-ARTO-300-72

I am not ungrateful to have gotten my life back. I am extremely grateful. I acknowledge were it not for timely intercessions, I would be dead twice-over. When something with the power of life or death pops into your psyche, tells you to go forth and live, asks nothing of you, then departs, it doesn’t allow time for a post-intercession Q & A period.

You couldn’t anyhow because “struck dumb” sums up your verbal abilities of the moment. Anyway, I would have had just one question: “Why me? I’m not so special … so why me?” But you don’t get to ask so you may never have an answer. Maybe there is no answer or none we could understand.

I am far from ungrateful. It’s just that I want to ask for my magic back, even if for only a few minutes. I want to fly, to feel that swoosh of wind as I take off, feel those moments of freedom, of being unbound from the earth.

Do you have memories of flying? I know others remember similar things. Most of us don’t talk about it lest people think we are nuts. I don’t care what anyone thinks, because I remember flying until one day I couldn’t.

And for all these years, I’ve been wondering why the magic went away.