Apart from the adaptations of Jim Butcher’s novels Storm Front and Fool Moon, most of the Dresden Files graphic novels to date have been original works. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Bigfoot is a notable exception, being an adaptation of “The Bigfoot Trilogy” of short stories in which wizard detective Harry Dresden is hired by a Bigfoot known as River Shoulders to help protect his son, Irwin, from various supernatural shenanigans. The only original material to be found here is in a frame story, set sometime after the events of the novel Battle Grounds, in which Harry helps Irwin and his girlfriend Connie move and is asked how he came to meet Irwin. 

The first chapter, adapting “B Is For Bigfoot,” finds Harry stepping in to help Irwin deal with a bullying problem after he becomes the target of several supernaturally wicked students at the ritzy private school he’s attending. The second chapter, based on “I Was A Teenage Bigfoot,” finds Harry trying to unravel the mystery of who hexed Irwin with a spell that is sapping his strength, and why they did so. The final chapter, inspired by “Bigfoot On Campus,” places Harry in the middle of a Romeo-and-Juliet-style conflict, when it turns out Irwin’s first college girlfriend, Connie, is an emotional vampire coming into her powers, and her father has decided that Irwin’s death should send her over the edge into embracing the life of a succubus.

The adaptation script by Mark Powers sticks to Butcher’s original stories and recycles most of the dialogue directly from them. This is largely to the benefit of the graphic novel, as Butcher’s characters and comedic one-liners are the strongest and most unique aspects of the Dresden Files series. Unfortunately, Powers goes a little too far in being faithful in this adaptation and adds in moments from the short stories that add very little to the overall narrative.

For instance, the final chapter includes the frame story of the original “Bigfoot On Campus,” in which Harry tries to explain the events of the story to a completely unsympathetic campus police officer. This leads this graphic novel to depict a story within a story within a story, and a flashback within a flashback, as Harry tells Connie about events for which she was present. Powers tries to cover this with Connie asking Harry for his perspective on how she and Irwin met, but it is still incredibly awkward.

The artwork by Joseph Cooper is competent, if uninspired. Cooper’s character designs resemble the characters from the books well enough, though his takes on college-age Irwin and Harry look like brothers, distinguishable only by the coloration of their hair. There’s also some fairly obvious panel recycling throughout. Sadly, this is a step-up from previous Dresden Files graphic novels, where the art was full of continuity errors.

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Bigfoot is rated Teen+ for audiences 13 and up, but I do not believe this to be a fair rating at all. The final chapter recreates one of the most sexually explicit scenes in all of the Dresden Files series, as a magical orgy breaks out in a college dormitory. While the artwork is not as explicit as it might have been, there are enough bare breasts and naked butts to raise a few eyebrows and the blood pressure of any moral guardians who find this book in a middle school or high school collection. Best shelve this with the adult graphic novels, if it must be purchased at all. Personally, I’d recommend investing in Jim Butcher’s Brief Cases anthology (which collects all of the original “Bigfoot Trilogy” short stories) instead.

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Bigfoot
By Jim Butcher, Mark Powers,  ,
Art by Joseph Cooper
Dynamite Entertainment, 2022
ISBN: 9781524121297

Publisher Age Rating: 13+
Series ISBNs and Order
Related media:  Book to Comic

NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)

  • Matt

    Reviewer

    Librarian | He/Him

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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