- There Once Was a Mouse #1
- Literati Press
- Created, Written, & Illustrated by Joe Worley
- Available now
This exciting new story from Literati Press is a lighthearted action/adventure thrill ride. Along the way, Mouse meets new friends, faces new foes, and must unravel a mystery to make it out alive. The story takes place, not in some fictional realm but, in our very own Midwest. If you are native to this region it’s very likely you have caught a glimpse of some of the characters featured in this book or perhaps just missed them hiding out of sight.
As a comic fan, I’m gonna fess up to the fact that I tend to stick to what I know and like. As a reviewer, I go out of my way to make sure I look at things out of my comfort zone. It may not always work out for me, but often I get a nice surprise to go with my broadened horizon.
I got an email from Felix Jacobs with Literati Press, asking if we could consider coverage on a few of their titles. I put up a post shining a light on a piece of illustrated verse called Beyond the Quantum: An Existential Crisis in 5 Acts, mostly because the idea of me trying to put critique to poetry would be the equivalent of me trying to submit a thesis on cold fusion or string theory. I thought that the concepts in Beyond the Quantum were great, very well presented and not at all overblown, and the illustrations were gorgeous! Please, check it out.
Also on that email was a crazy little adventure story about Mouse & his quest for the artifact known as “The Eye”. For the record, Mouse is in fact a mouse. His friend Lemmi is a lizard. The Eye is… we have no idea what that is yet, but I’m sure it’s very powerful and we’ll find out all we need to know about it in the second installment. For now, I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to this quirky little story created, written, & illustrated by Joe Worley.
There Once Was a Mouse is a fast-paced adventure that shies away from outright violence without sacrificing the action. Worley presents Mouse as sort of a moving target who doesn’t look for trouble but doesn’t seem to have a shortage of it following him around. When that trouble comes, Mouse falls into the leap without looking brand of action hero.
Worley’s artwork holds the whole thing together. There’s only so much you can do with a talking mouse that isn’t humanized in any way, design-wise, and Worley works it for every ounce. As a character, Mouse is expressive, dynamic, and totally out of his depth even if he hasn’t figured that out yet. These are all the elements that work to pull an audience in, especially if you’re looking for a younger demographic.
My hope is that the wait for a second chapter isn’t too long, as this is the kind of story that might have benefited from being released in its entirety. The premise is straightforward, just the kind of thing for young readers (and readers of a certain age who still love Saturday morning cartoons). Bottom line, There Once Was a Mouse is a fun piece of work for all ages, just waiting to be discovered and appreciated.
Final Score: 11/13