Sunday, December 30, 2018

Reader's Diary #1996- Manuro Gorobei: Hocus and Pocus 1

I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid and while Manuro Gorobei's Hocus and Pocus 1: The Legend of Grimm's Woods isn't of that particular brand name, but rather Comic Quests, the idea is mostly the same.

Of course, the CYOA books were comics, but it should have been an easy enough idea to adapt to comics. But Gorobei attempts a few modifications that I'm not sure were all that successful. First off, rather than have the choices go to a page number, they go to a panel number. And the choices aren't always spelled out the same way, but rather some numbers appear in a panel and you must choose to "go there" with the choice somewhat implied. This took some getting used to but eventually I did.

Another feature was the use of three helpful animals that you could take on your journey, each with unique attributes that could be useful in particular situations. However, if you use them, they go to sleep and I was never clear on whether or not you could wake them again. I think Gorobei wanted to add a game-type element, but I found the additional complication unnecessary.

Perhaps it was the time it took for me to adapt that detracted from me getting really invested in the plot or characters. Fortunately, I just watched the Black Mirror "Bandersnatch" episode and I'm reminded that character development and compelling plots are still achievement with such a format.

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