The Snow Cat Prince by Dina Norlund — graphic novel review by Roz Gibson
by Patch O'Furr
Welcome to Roz Gibson, furry artist and animator in Southern California. Roz was guest of honor at Confurence and created the Jack Salem comic character that first appeared in Rowrbrazzle in 1987. Roz is a community access guest and contents are hers. See Roz’s tag for more reviews.
The Snow Cat Prince
Written and illustrated by Dina Norlund
Published by Hushbird publications
The Snow Cat Prince is a gorgeous hardcover graphic novel by Scandinavian artist Dina Norlund. I received my copy through a Kickstarter campaign, but it is available from her website: Hushbird.com (and the furry book sellers would be smart if they picked this up for sale at conventions). Unlike most of the graphic novels I’ve reviewed, this is not a zillion-volume series that will never get done — story is self-contained in this one book. What a pleasant surprise that was!
The plot is a standard “Prince searching for an artifact so he can reclaim his kingdom.” And it is definitely an all-ages title, with minimal violence (but some threat and peril). After a short introduction setting the background, the titular Snow Cat Prince is introduced. Syv, the youngest of seven brothers, will probably not inherit the throne, and he’s okay with that. But his six ne’er do-well brothers are concerned because he’s popular with the human inhabitants of the city, so they decide to send him on a wild goose chase to find the lost crown.
In the introduction we’re told how the evil shapeshifting foxes stole the crown from the first, mighty snow cat king, and if the crown can be found and returned the snow cat’s city will once again flourish. Syv is kind but very naive, and doesn’t question why his more powerful brothers would send him off on this important quest. Almost as soon as he leaves the city he comes across Kit—a red-haired elfin sprite who invites herself to tag along. The rest of the story follows their adventures and perils, as Syv learns a lot about the world and the real history of what happened to the crown.
The story is straightforward and simple, so it might not appeal to readers looking for more substance. However, the artwork is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. Rich, vibrant colors with clean, easy-to-follow layouts. The character designs are a melding of Disney and manga — cute without being over-the-top about it. The book is definitely worth getting just for the art. An excellent production in terms of printing and presentation.
I will eagerly look forward to anything else Dina Norlund puts out.
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