Indie Comics Review: Labyrinth: Under The Spell
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Written by: Lara Elena Donnelly, S. M. Vidaurri, Sina Grace, Michael Dialyss
Illustrated by: Pius Bak, Samantha Dodge, French Carlomagno, Boya Sun, Sarah Webb
Colored by: Francesco Segala, Fabiana Mascolo, Laura Langston
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
Review By: Kendra Hale
In this glorious 120 page volume readers are treated to an expansion of the world and characters that they know from The Labyrinth. We are treated to 4 stories that give us but a moment in time for beloved characters. Sir Didymus and Hoggle are a treat but we also get backstory on just who the guests of the ball are. All set to unique and beautiful artwork. Let’s take a look at the tales our creators have lovingly given.
The Eternal Tournament
Our first tale in Labyrinth: Under The Spell features Sir Didymus and Ambrosius. The Eternal Tournament was crafted with S.M. Vidaurri at the writing helm, Sarah Webb doing the illustration, and Laura Langston giving us colors. The story tells the tale of how Sir Didymus obtained the post as the guardian of to the bridge. We are introduced to new characters that hopefully will be featured again.
The writing of this story is so good that I heard David Shaughnessy as I read all of Sir Didymus’s lines. The artwork is super quirky and reminds me of the Sunday Paper comics in such a joyful way. Seeing Sarah Webb’s version of Jareth is so cute!
In this tale we get a moment in time with Hoggle. Writer Sina Grace and Illustrator Boya Sun give us the history of when Hoggle became the groundskeeper for King Jareth. Starting as a dwarf who just can’t seem to have things go right for him, a chance encounter will change the course of the rest of his life.
Sina Grace and Boya Sun give us a short and sweet excerpt into Hoggle’s life. The colors are so vibrant and the details are striking. It gives a lightness to the sadness and shows the replacement of that feeling for Hoggle.
This story is given to readers in totality by Michael Dialyss. The tale is of a young goblin named No! and the reason for it soon becomes apparent. A young goblin who can’t seem to find his place or purpose, nothing seems to go right. Once kicked out for all kinds of shenanigans he stumbles upon what will be his true purpose and changes his name to follow suit.
Michael Dialyss gives a truly resonating story about finding the place and purpose despite hardship. I enjoyed not only the story but the artwork displayed especially at the end. I mean who doesn’t want to be surrounded by an immense mountain of books?
Now this is a familiar story and I recognized it through the cover as well. This story was featured as Labyrinth: Masquerade #1 . I had already done a review for this tale and will refer to that as my feelings haven’t changed.
The tale introduces us to a young goblin who is in charge of the beauty parlor that houses the “guests” for the balls that the Goblin King holds. The young goblin had the best of intentions wanting to wait on the Goblin king as a valet but that was not to be his fate. As with everything that is in this world, nothing and no one is what it seems.
One of the ball “guests” has woken from her dream like slumber. Her journey will give more depth to the world of Labyrinth. There are secrets that hide in every corner of this world and the road to redemption is more than most can handle. With the help of this young goblin and some very unexpected friends, will she be able to piece together why she is in this world…and make it out of the twisted world determined to keep her in a fog?
The artwork is so beautiful. The Ballroom scene from The Labyrinth is one of the most iconic scenes from the movie. What Laura Elena Donnelly, Pius Bak, Samantha Dodge, French Carlomagno, Francesco Segala, and Fabiana Mascolo have done is created depth to that scene which gives it a whole new meaning upon re-watch. It creates bittersweet moments when you realize the sadness that these scenes represent in this world of Masquerade. For that impact alone, Brava.
Labyrinth: Under The Spell does just that with this collection. It captures the imagination and expands upon not only the history but the lore of the world of The Labyrinth. Just brief glimpses in to the past and behind the mirror’s surface, but fascinating all the while.
The artwork and story craft is on such a beautiful pedestal. All of these creators build their own sense of flair and passion to the canvas and it is jaw dropping.
For newcomers and old fans alike Labyrinth: Under The Spell is so enjoyable. One of my favorite parts is actually before the stories ever happen and that is the silhouetted art that happens in the first few pages of the book. I was hooked before it even started!
Images Provided Courtesy Of Boom! Studios.