Select one of the keywords
Stonehaven: Milk Cartons & Dog Biscuits    by Kevin Tinsley & Phil Singer order for
by Kevin Tinsley
Order:  USA  Can
Stickman Graphics, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Ranger Dan Parsons' daughter has run away to the big city, Stonehaven, Capital of Diversity, where gnomes and centaurs stand beside elves and dwarves, waiting for the next bus or to cross the road. Making the trip from the Reaches into the thriving city of seven and a half million people, Parsons finds himself running out of sources to help find his daughter. He's unimpressed with the cops' complacency and can't seem to muster up leads of his own; so he goes to Victor Jardine, a private (and slightly sketchy) investigator to see what can be done.

Stonehaven is the New York City of an alternative earth, where magic and science never grew apart and where one can study both necromancy and molecular biology at the local university. In this world of elves and electricians, Parsons quickly discovers that his daughter may be keeping company with a homicidal magic-using werewolf. With the help of Jardine and crime boss Meili Mau, he must find his daughter before the werewolf decides she's better as a snack than as entertainment.

With the tag line, 'What do you get when you cross 'Lord of the Rings' with 'The Godfather'?,' this graphic novel sets high standards. Its mix of humor, suspense, and the quintessential werewolf chase, should keep all magic lovers wanting more. The characters work because they feel realistic even though the setting isn't. None comes across as clearly good or evil but rather they display varying levels of each. The gritty streets of Stonehaven also add to the quality, since backdrops can be picked apart to see where in this world's New York they would be.

The art is consistent and colorful throughout the book. While many of the indoor backgrounds seem common and uninteresting, the public backdrops and subway scenes provide both humor and visual stimulation. The backdrop characters also provide material for idle contemplation as the reader tries to figure out if they are human, a lizard person, or something unidentifiable. While most of the action scenes seem common place, one panel warrants attention towards the end of the story. At one point, the werewolf busts through a door, which flies forward in cracked pieces. The pieces are blurred while the center where the werewolf stands is perfectly clear and still. The contrast works perfectly and the force of the blow can be felt by the reader quite effectively.

At its heart, Stonehaven: Milk Cartons and Dog Biscuits is a detective story with elements of comedy, fantasy, and yes, even a little mushiness. With all of it intermixed so skillfully, it's safe to say that anyone can find something to redeem this graphic novel.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews