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This one’s been on my to do list for a little while now, so I figured what better time than now to get it off the list.

March of the Crabs: The Crabby Condition is the first part of a trilogy about Cancer Simplicimus Vulgaris… or the French marbled crab.  According to the story, this particular species of crab never evolved like the rest of its cousins, and because of that lack of adaptation, the members of the species are doomed to a particularly cruel fate.  You see, these crabs are unable to change direction, and they must move back and forth on the same straight line for the entirety of their lives.  However, there are a few of these crabs who are sick and tired of the same routine day in and day out, and they may have just discovered a way to change the course of their species forever.

French illustrator, Arthur de Pins crafts the beginning of what is shaping up to be quite a philosophical and often comedic story.  for the better part of their lives, these crabs follow the same path, run into the same characters, the same dangers, and the same obstacles, with no way to change their lot in life.  Some have become complacent and accept it, while others have come to despise it, but it all boils down to one simple question, what are those few willing to do or sacrifice in an attempt to change the order of things?  Also, change inherently brings about new perils and new obstacles, and these crabs will need to learn very quickly if they are prepared to face those.  I like the ideas put forth here, and I’m quite anxious to find out where the author will take them in the ensuing volumes.

The artwork here is very stylized.  It’s almost like watching an animated feature movie from a few decades ago, which isn’t to say that it’s bad, it’s just not what I’m used to seeing.  There isn’t much detail to most of the characters, so it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart, but despite the fact that they all pretty much look exactly the same, they all have vastly different personalities, and once they get into a conversation distinguishing one from the other becomes a little easier.  I particularly liked how the de Pins portrayed the humans as these towering monsters that the crabs are deathly afraid of, even going so far as to give them evil and devilish looking faces.  It’s probably not to far off from how crabs, or most small animals for that matter actually view us.  Little details like that are what make works of fiction great.

Overall, this is a graphic novel that I really enjoyed.  The story is entertaining and engaging, with dashes of genuine heart and comedy thrown in at good intervals.  The artwork is a little simplistic for my liking, but it works pretty well with the story.  I’m looking forward to volume two.

One thing you should definitely be aware of, even though the art style and description may make this sound like a children’s book, there are definitely some more adult oriented themes in play here, so keep that in mind if you think you might want to purchase this for a younger relative.

The Verdict for March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Secret Wars #5
Ghost Racers #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Planet Hulk #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Secret Wars: Battleworld #4
Doctor Sleep (Novel)

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