Sirk TV Manga Review: TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS – ZERO’S JOURNEY – BOOK ONE [Disney/Tokyopop/Diamond]
The Tim Burton film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” casts a wide shadow in terms of its tone but also its humor yet it also is able to convey a sense of heart. This is mostly done through song but this use gives the characters ways to speak of things, especially in Halloween Town which are harder to do. The way that “The Nightmare Before Christmas – Zero’s Journey – Book One” [D.J. Milky/Tokyopop/112pgs] truly works at times is because it uses purely visual and motion in its frames. The way the manga works in this way conveys the emotions of the ghost pup in an engaging and real way. The reader sees his reaction in an emotional and pure way, not conceded by words. What the story tends to do unfortunately in the way it moves later in its progression is try to emulate the film too much in balancing the songs which as a Danny Elfman creation is hard to match. Ultimately the story tries too much to parallel the film which undeniably is the easier but not more challenging approach. But again the early perceptions of Zero just loving the new sights and smells of Christmastown work before giving way to general mischievery through no fault of his own. The art in this volume is good and on point in a reflective manga texture but ultimately seems like ground retread.
By Tim Wassberg