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Purins, Ansis – Super Magic Forest


Super Magic Forest

This is one of those books that’s going to be impossible to properly review. Which is odd, as there is a coherent quest at the center of it, one of them there “heroic journeys” you read about. But when it comes to the page by page specifics of this book, there’s too much to talk about in any kind of coherent fashion. Would you like to play “spot the stamp” with his panels? Because you could; there are several tiny stamped images strewn throughout the book. Not on every panel though, as that would be too easy. Zombre, the anchor of so many of his past books, has a brief cameo in this one, but that’s about it. There are SO many panels with SO much going on in them; I just flipped the book open randomly to the image of two sleeping bears, and even on that image I just now found a tiny bug, seemingly serving as a watchman of sorts, on one of their paws. Missed it entirely the first time around. So if you’re one of those people who measures quality of a comic by how much time you can spend with it discovering new things, this one is damned near priceless. Every page that has a crowd shot has a ridiculous amount of things happening in the background. Eh, I probably should talk about the story. We start off with an elf (Twit Leaf) gathering berries. Somebody pulled a prank on him and the bucket has a hole in it, so most of his berries have been eaten by birds that were following him around. Still, he needs berries for the banquet, which means he has to look for them in a more dangerous area. This leads him to an abandoned pocket video game system, which might as well be magic as far as he’s concerned. After a few more events he makes his way to the banquet, hoping that the game system will make up for his lack of berries. This is the meaty center of the book, where we get to spend some quality time with the whole extended civilization going on and the bizarre cast of characters. Which is why I used them for the sample image, and the ones shown below are only a small minority of the oddities. Twit Leaf eventually decides to go out for more berries, which is where he runs into a Cryptmunk Slayer (he had thought them to be extinct). Oh, and there’s his elf friends. And the demon. And the floofy monster that’s capable of killing all other monsters in horrific fashion. And so, so many others. I’m wrapping this up here, but to be perfectly clear: this is the opus of Ansis Purins, at least so far. It’s his crowning achievement, and whether or not you were already a fan, you should absolutely check it out. You’re unlikely to see anything this thoroughly, delightfully inventive anywhere else, and this is coming from a guy who reviews delightfully inventive comics on a damned near weekly basis. Check it out, spread the word, and enjoy. Oh, and this behemoth is also somehow only $16.95; I’m a cheapskate and my guess would have been $30. Gather those pennies and buy this book!