Science fiction and fantasy
by Alex Alice
Siegfried is a handful for Mimé to raise, fond of wolves and hunting. They clash about this and other things. The young man is wild, but he's also very far from his own kind. There's a sense that Mimé isn't a very good guardian, and as Siegfried gets older he seems to realise this more and more. The old Nibelung is working on some kind of scheme involving poison, and he wants the young man to grow up and slay a dragon. So Siegfried has a tough quest ahead of him that he doesn't know about and isn't adequately prepared for.
The story ends very inconclusively, with everything to play for and most of it yet to be told. It also ends about half way through the book, with the rest given over to sketches, a long interview, and some details about the animated film. The interview seemed a bit self-aggrandising, but some of this non-story artwork is jaw-dropping. There are images in a range of styles, but even when Alex Alice is drawing scenery with no narrative context it's evocative and beautiful.
The author's take on this legend is quite different from other versions, although there isn't exactly a canonical story in any case. He introduces new elements and gives it a sense of magic by setting it in an indistinct, legendary time and place. My main problem with Siegfried is how unfinished it seems, in the sense that the story is only just starting when it comes to an end. There's no closure at all in this volume, only openings and questions. The series might shape up well, but there isn't enough plot in this book for a satisfying read. I didn't feel like there was the chance to warm to the main characters. This is certainly a pretty graphic novel, but it needs to be longer.
14th January 2013
Review © Ros Jackson