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BOOK REVIEW: Mulp: Sceptre of the Sun by Matt Gibbs & Sara Dunkerton

December 27, 2015 11:00 am

Out now
Published by Improper Books
More information can be found on the Improper Books website 

Review by Chloe Allan

mulpGood storytelling is, for me, a combination of language that evokes, a plot that entices and imagination. Mulp is a graphic novel that, owing to the minimal text of comic books, embeds narrative through its illustrations. It crams as much heart-pounding drama and as many plot twists and turns in its pages as some authors can only dream of creating in hundreds of pages of novel.

Through a mixture of speech and graphics, we follow the adventure of a band of mice who discover myths and legends among ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, leading them to partake in Bond-like motorcycle chases!

Without the aid of detailed passages of text, the atmosphere is created by the drawings and colour that layer the story. An eerie array of browns and dirtied oranges create the desert where the mince set out on their journey. Towards the end of the novel, when the characters have returned home to London, there is a sense of the Victorian about the piece. It’s a quaint and patriotic portrayal of London and those who reside there, making the comic almost a comfort to read.

Upon writing this, it strikes me that creators Matt Gibbs and Sara Dunkerton have combined the best of a thriller with the delights of a comforting read, using predominantly pictures and very little text. Conveying a story through colour, speech and characterisation was always going to be challenging and it is, perhaps, this challenge that forced them to invest so much of their dedication and time in to Mulp, ensuring it is an enchanting read.

Electrifying to the end, Mulp ends on a cliff-hanger. There are three issues to go and, if the first is any indication of what is to come, the series is worth a recommendation.


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