The first time people open this book, a lot of them are going to say the same thing: “This must be some sort of trick.”
Each picture in the book looks like a feat of human industry, containing tiny, impossible stippling and feathering and crosshatching in every inch of the panel. One drawing of a Behemoth, napping in the crags of a mountain, looks as though it should have taken a year to draw. Nytra seems to have flipped through every bestiary and ancient classic he could find and started drawing the oddest creatures in every book. Readers could be forgiven for thinking the story itself (which incorporates elements of Don Quixote, Jewish mythology, The Canterbury Tales, the legend of St. George, and the canoe cultures of the Pacific Northwest) makes no sense at all. Sample dialogue: “THE WINDMILLS! They’ve turned into DRAGONS!” Protagonists Alan and Leah encounter a giant chicken called Pertelote and a meat-eating boat (called the Meat-eating Boat) as they attempt to rescue their dog from the dragon-windmills. If it feels haphazard, that’s part of the charm. Why shouldn’t there be an enormous drain at the bottom of the ocean?
The real joy of the book is watching the artist draw every monster he can think of; if the logic behind the story isn’t always clear, well, who really wants to know how a magician did his tricks? (historical notes) (Graphic fantasy. 8-11)