My Cultural Diet

356 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info here). Ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links.

Elric: The Dreaming City
I’ve liked Michael Moorcock’s Elric novels for years. They’re grim and deeply cynical — Moorcock wrote them, in part, as a rejection of Tolkien’s high fantasy — as well as deeply imaginative and fantastical. But this is the first Elric comic I’ve read. Let’s start with the positive: Julien Telo’s artwork possesses a moody edge that’s quite apropos for the doomed albino, and some of his designs (e.g., the Melnibonéan dragons) are really cool. The storyline, however, is a mixed bag. The Dreaming City adapts the first published Elric story, in which he leads an attack on his former home of Imrryr, while awkwardly incorporating elements from The Sailor on the Seas of Fate, specifically Elric’s journey to the ancient city of R’lin K’Ren A’a. The Dreaming City also downplays the Elric saga’s inherently tragic nature in order to highlight its decadence. Nowhere is this better seen than the decision to turn Elric’s lover Cymoril into a vengeful harpy clad in topless armor (which even the storytellers admit is clichéd) or changing the nature of her death. That said, highlighting the sentience of Elric’s cursed runeblade Stormbringer with a feminine aspect is an interesting decision that more explicitly states what Moorcock intimates in his writings.

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