Monday, June 20, 2005


Adapting non-narrative material to a narrative form is a risky proposition, video games especially. From Tron and Super Mario Brothers to Final Fantasy and Alone in the Dark, there is a long and inglorious history of writers trying to turn games -- even games with a "plot" -- into an actual, interesting story. Even the ones that do succeed, say Tomb Raider (for small values of "success"), don't have enough bottom to carry them through either the inevitable sequels or further translations, as anyone who has ever picked up one of Top Cow's Tomb Raider books can tell you.

Death, Jr. is an exception that proves the rule. Smart, clever, extraordinarily funny and touching, this is a title that should be read whether or not you ever intend to pick up the game. It is silly without being juvenile, mischievous without being cruel, and positive and good-hearted without being treacly. Gary Whitta has created a story that is vastly entertaining without needing to be salacious or bloody, an all-ages tale that will appeal to adults without talking over the heads of younger readers. It is in the same spirit and style as The Incredibles and will hopefully find as broad an appeal.

Read the rest here


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