Review by Frank Plowright
Mark Evanier’s new Shrek stories pick up at the end of the first movie. At the start, Shrek and Fiona are away on honeymoon, and seemingly not bothered by being dead, the ghost of Lord Farquaad is determined to have his revenge. Well, it’s actually more than that, because if Fiona dies and Farquaad marries her, because she’s got royal blood he can become king of the underworld. Admittedly, that’s a lot of dominoes needing to fall into place, but Farquaad’s a determined villain.
Evanier supplies three stories, the first two featuring Farquaad activating a new plan. He’s caught the voice patterns as per the animation, drops in a fair number of slightly coarse jokes and makes good use of the people everyone knows from nursery rhymes and fairy tales, along the way recalibrating some of them slightly to suit his funny plots. It turns out that ogres rate below trolls when it comes to size and sheer brutality,
Ramón Bachs is better known for his straightforward superhero art these days, but with that he’s one among a crowd of equals. On Shrek his cartooning is great, although some younger readers might prefer the 3-D visualisation of the films. The joy of the cast is that pretty well everyone’s an idiot, so sympathies are based on the scale of nice to nasty, and Bachs draws some great idiots, most importantly Shrek himself and Donkey, all with suitable expressions. The befuddled troll and his family are wonderful as well.
Any kid that enjoys the Shrek films is surely going to love the graphic novel, and at the prices used copies are going for online there’s no excuse for not trying it.