‘The World Of Quest’ is a colourful little Manga-style graphic novel. The story in the book starts after Nestor’s parents have been killed and the castle, his home, have been destroyed. Our story features Prince Nestor, an eleven year-old boy and Quest who was formerly the greatest hero in the realm, when he was much younger, many years ago. Prince Nestor is searching for a mythical weapon and needs Quest to join him on the search as a bodyguard. Prince Nestor goes to Quest’s cottage to talk to him, except Quest is not interested and sends him away.
Unfortunately, Nestor was followed by the Calamity Brothers and during the fight, the brothers all end up in the nearby river. You know what happened to Gizmo when he got wet? He produced nasty off-spring, gremlins, with a very bad attitude. Well, the Calamity Brothers formed a larger creature called Catastrophe, also with a nasty attitude, the battle continues and comes crashing through the door of Quest’s cottage. Quest doesn’t like children at the best of times. Even less so, when they bring their own problems into his home and totally wreck it.
Quest stops the battle but his home is now in ruins and so Nestor owes him a house. Therefore, Quest gives Prince Nestor the bill for a new house and to make sure the prince stays alive to pay for it, Quest decides he will become Nestor’s bodyguard after all and they begin their search for the legendary Five Swords. Prince Nestor has been charged with protecting the Dagger of the Way, which Lord Spite believes will show him the way to the Five Swords, the key to ultimate power.
It is up to the Calamity Brothers to capture Prince Nestor and bring him to Lord Spite, the villain in all of this. Lord Spite wants the Dagger and the Five Swords as well, because he wants the power these items will provide.
Imagine a middle-aged Conan or Hercules in retirement or at least Quest was, now he is teamed up, with someone like Short-Round or…scratches her head to think…Sinbad, when he was a tweenie, with all the arrogance of youth. This is what you would have. medieval sword and sorcery meets modern day comedy, slapstick violence like in ‘Tom And Jerry’ or the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV series, with sound effects on screen, in capital letters and followed by an exclamation mark! There is no build up, it just dives straight into what is happening today and you work it out as you go along. A lot of action and fighting, not a lot of story development. No clear background story, just a load of clues to pick up and add together, like jigsaw puzzle pieces.
The story is split up into several chapters, so it looks like many issues of a comic put together. The art is very cartoonish in style, Quest is not drawn with any eyes or nose, just hood, mouth and lower jaw, which takes a bit of getting used to and the backgrounds are mostly basic like pale blue sky or plan white paper There is good use of panel layouts, not the standard nine panel grid, often three panels per page, sometimes with a section not drawn in a panel at all.
Did I enjoy reading this book? Well, no, not really. There was a total lack of explanation as to what the hell was supposed to be going on. So I had to read it a few times to get the gist of the plot. It is based on a children’s TV series, so if you are a fan of the series you will know what it is all about. I have no idea what the Dagger of the Way will do or what the Five Swords even look like. This book dives straight into fight scenes with little explanation of what is going on. Hence my needing to read some of the character info at the back, some of these have a little back story, some are new characters that will be introduced in future issues. Hopefully, you will learn more as you go along, from book to book.
A great present for a young lad interested in sword and sorcery games, to while away some time on a boring train journey or a wet afternoon indoors.
(pub: Yen Press/Orbit Books. 143 page graphic novel. Price: £ 7.99 (UK), $ 9.99, $12.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7595-2402-6)