I requested volume 1 of Bizenghast and Return to Labyrinth off OhioLINK, and they came today.
I got through Bizenghast during my shift. I wasn’t hugely impressed. The writing isn’t great – none of the characters really has a distinctive voice, the tone of the story’s inconsistent, and the protagonist is obnoxiously passive. I would only buy her Big Decision at the end of the volume as a decision if she’d at some point previously given some kind of indication of selfishness. I was about to call her a goody-goody, but actually I don’t think I can even describe her personality, or her boyfriend’s, or anyone else’s. There seriously is no characterization at all here.
The art’s interesting, but seriously Needs Work. There are really huge shifts in quality and style from page to page. The big problem I had was with the architecture, which is kind of an important element in the story, but which the artist seems uncomfortable with. Whenever she has to draw a complex structure, the style is always slightly off of everything else – the rest of the art is all flowing and jagged-slash-twisty, but when she has to draw a house it always looks like an art-class perspective exercise cut-and-pasted in. Everything’s pretty uneven, but that’s what was bugging me the most.
Maybe it gets better later, but I’m not interested enough to keep reading.
I was unable to get through Labyrinth, and probably won’t. Erg.