- Series: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse; First Edition edition (April 3, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593077130
- ISBN-13: 978-1593077136
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fafhrd And The Gray Mouser Paperback – March 27, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This trade paperback from Dark Horse Comics collects the four-issue mini-series originally published by Marvel Comics' Epic line in the 1991. The stories are adapted by Howard Chaykin with art by Mike Mignola and the legendary Al Williamson. The pairs adventures generally take place in and around the Lankhmar, the most notorious city in Newhon. The first story, "Ill met In Lankhmar" is perhaps the most famous, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. It tells the story of the first meeting between Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser although this "origin" story was not written until 1970.
The pair are after the same quarry of riches and soon strike up a great friendship...over many tankards of ale. When both of their women are killed by dark sorcery, the two team to kill both the wizard and the thieves guild before vowing to never return to Lankhmar. After leaving the city, each will encounter a mysterious, patron wizard, who provide cryptic advice and send them off on dangerous missions, seemingly often for their own amusement.
Another excellent story is "Bazaar of the Bizarre", written in 1963.Read more ›
So I was interested enough to buy it when this compendium of earlier comics of some of the stories came out. I found the adaptation to be only partially successful.
Partly, it's because half the fun of Fafhrd and the Mouser is Leiber's language, and in particular the gritty, languid descriptions. It must have been terrifically hard to adapt those descriptions. Ideally, some of the narrative gets moved to the drawings, but Leiber blended action and description so well that his own words can't be used, leaving the adapter with trying re-write. Chaykin isn't Leiber.
Partly it's the sacrifices that have to be made with the change in medium. Lots of elements have to be left out, some of them pretty important. Leiber's writing, again, is so tight, and his plotting has so few extraneous elements, that the narrative force gets lost when Chaykin unavoidably has to chop those important bits out. Maybe if this had started as a graphic novel and not as a series of comics, the excisions wouldn't be so big.
For whatever reason, because they were comics or to make them socially acceptable in the early 1990s, the stories are bowdlerized as well. Fafhrd and Grey Mouser are lusty guys. That lust, which motivates stories like "While the Sea King's Away," has been written out. The assignations with the Sea King's wives, critical to the plot, are simply gone. It makes the heros' motivations nearly inexplicable.Read more ›
These adaptations are among my favorites. Howard Chaykin channels Fritz Leiber like a kindred soul. Chaykin brings out the pairs' wit, arrogance, doubts and, ultimately their worldly humor as they wander through through their many adventures and misadventures. They're friends who do not need each other but love playing off of each other, as if together they are better than they are alone. These are great buddy stories with a sword and sorcery world as the setting. Best of all is that these stories (all of them, not just those in this collection) are richly detailed, realistically powerful and memorable in a way few S&S tales are. It's easy to relate to these two scoundrels.
Couple this with the stunningly effective and distinctive art provided by Mike Mignola (inked by the always remarkable, fine line of Al Williamson, also proving there is no one Al can't ink and still look great) and colorist Sherlyn van Valkenburgh provides a great reason to shun digital color. She's a gem and one rarely seen in comics anymore. Even Michael Heisler's lettering is worth noting for it's melding so well with the stories.
The stories selected for these adaptations give everyone a chance to shine. Mignola establishes himself as one of the more respected artists in the American comic scene by drawing everything under the sun on Newhon.
The half star missing is for the book's binding. It's fine for what it is and the art director and editor deliver one of the best looking graphic novels to see print, a beautiful package. So, why did the publisher not put out a hardcover edition. It would have been worth another $5 to $10 dollars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book, althoughi Mignolas art sure takes some getting used to. Story line aligns well with the novel. Worth it.Published on June 21, 2014 by Bradley Dent
It's hard to believe the Fafhrd and Mouser stories date back to the 1960s - some of them, at least. The stories, in themselves and in these adaptations, have a freshness and... Read morePublished on November 16, 2013 by wiredweird
I actually love Mike Mignola's pre-Hellboy artwork, and it's on fine display here--more detail and subtleties of color than in the Hellboy books (not that I don't love them as... Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by Adam Prosser
Got this mainly for the art, knowing nothing about the characters.
Found a good crisp, often funny script, in really quite wonderfully odd stories. Great fun. Read more
When comic legends Howard Chaykin and Mike Mignola adapt the legendary fantasy works of Fritz Leiber, you certainly get a book worth buying. Read morePublished on December 31, 2011 by Kid Kyoto
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are Fritz Leiber characters appearing in short stories back to 1939. The characters were sardonic, ironic, cynical and sarcastic. Read morePublished on March 30, 2011 by Lonnie E. Holder
... and "a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" are common axioms and they aptly apply to common writers. Read morePublished on November 20, 2009 by Peaceful & Easy
This book is great- a small collection of Fritz Leibers' Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories.Published on July 5, 2009 by Kevin A. Moore
I like the the Sword and Sorcery genre. The drawings are quite nice here (the muted colours are terrific)but somehow, the short stories don't quite fit together.Published on February 26, 2009 by danny boy