Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #21 - February 1997


Steviebear

Publisher:	Belfax Studio 
Story & Art:	Ken Harrison	
Cvr Price:	$2.95		
Frequency:  	Bi-monthly

Storyline:

So one day you're goofing off with your friends, when you find a dying old man in a BMW who hands you a thick book and a bag of gold, gasps out some instructions about delivering his ring to another man, and then - ZAP! The next thing you know, you're all standing in a big field far from any sign of civilization - and before too long one of your friends gets kidnapped by some marauding gremlins, and you get turned into some sort of walking, talking, bear-man... what the locals call an "Ursulan."

Your remaining friend keeps using the book, hoping that one of the "magic spells" inside will get you all back home safely... but nothing seems to be working, and instead things just keep getting more complicated!

Good thing you've still got your sense of humor...

Writing Review:

Ken has a knack for humorous fantasy and a premise rife with both mystery and adventure - why did the gang end up here? Who was the dying man? How will they get back? And can they get back?

Strong plotting and solid world-building has given us two main sets of characters to follow around: Lisa and the people she ends up with after being kidnapped and sold to a Baron, and Pen and Steve (now turned into an Ursulan) and their new companions on their mission to find Lisa. Both sets are fascinating, and the array of supporting players is both varied and fleshed out, from the master slaver the boys meet to the servants of the Baron who Lisa runs into. Entertaining, action-filled, with an underlying mystery behind it all - all of the ingredients that made Bone such a hit. But where Bone is more of a fantasy-mystery, Steviebear tends more towards a quest-mystery, as there's more purpose behind Ken's characters' travels.

Art Review:

Ken has a wonderfully lively style, fluid and kinetic, capturing motion and emotion equally well. Backgrounds are non-intrusive but filled with details, and the inking shows a solid command of shadow and anatomy - overall, excellent job!

Audience:

Fans of Bone should lap this one up, as should readers of other medieval-style fantasy stories, like Thieves & Kings and Replacement God. Fans of "furry" books like Furrlough and Shanda should check this out, as should those who fondly recall the old "Dungeons & Dragons" TV show. Readers of Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame books, and especially Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger books should really get a kick out of this series. Fabulous, funny, fantastic -- Steviebear has nowhere to go but up!

If you like Steviebear, take a look at:


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