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A Bit of Madness    by Emmanuel Civiello order for
Bit of Madness
by Emmanuel Civiello
Order:  USA  Can
Checker, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

With amazing artwork and a compelling plot, A Bit of Madness dazzles readers with the adventures of Iggut the elf as he journeys through the faerie world to return the Faerie Queen's heart of the crystal.

Time has passed since the war between humans and faerie folk when a promise was made between human leaders and the King and Queen of the faerie. But dark forces have seized the heart of the crystal and the destruction of the faerie world is at stake. The Queen lies dying and Iggut has been chosen to save her. Though desiring nothing more than to stay at home and write in his book, Iggut sets out across the fantastic world of the faeries to reclaim the magical relic. He finds friends and foes around every corner as he encounters exotic and eccentric beings who either aid or hinder his journey.

Coming from Emmanuel Civiello, a French comic book artist, this graphic novel is striking and unique. The astounding art steeped in strong imagery makes one hard pressed not to agree with the publisher who states in the foreword, 'It was clear from the beginning that each panel was a work of art that could proudly be hung on a museum wall.' Though Celtic mythology and The Lord of the Rings are cited as sources of inspiration, fans of films like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth will also feel a visual continuity in the use of tones and hues of this piece.

The curious cast of talking animals, sorceresses, and kind but incompetent trolls makes for great entertainment but also alludes to the larger populations that are threatened by the possible demise of the Faerie world. With fantastic action sequences and battle scenes, the fast pace of the story propels readers through this nearly two hundred page graphic novel in record time. If it has any fault it would be a certain amount of confusion in the first section. Readers might find the opening sequences hard to follow or a bit distracting with all that goes on in every panel.

The actual page size of this graphic novel is nine by twelve and a half rather than the typical seven by ten inches. A Bit of Madness deserves a place on any bookshelf for outstanding attributes that include beautiful art, an engaging plot, fantastic pace, and humor.

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