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‘Folklords #3:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Folktales are important. They teach us about the many faces of good and evil. They teach us about ourselves and the foibles of humanity. They are cautionary. They pique the darkest recesses of our imagination to scare us into making wise decisions. Fanbase Press, with its #StoriesMatter initiative, is inviting yours truly and all of its staff to dig into why stories matter to us, and in broader strokes, what they mean to our culture, our history, or whatever the story inspires us to talk about. With Folklords, I can’t think of a better writer or a better story to begin delving into this goal.

Folklords is a story that begins in a world of folktales and legends, a place where a troll guards passage across a lake, exchanging meat pies for ferry rides. Where youths choose a quest for themselves when they reach adulthood, and where the guardians of order in a small village are called Librarians, masked and armored arbiters of rules and laws. Stay away from untrue tales; they warn or face some pretty extreme consequences. Stories, apparently, should be safe.

One young man named Angel is about to turn eighteen, and the quest that he has chosen for himself is to seek out the fabled Folklords which are forbidden to even talk about by the Librarians. Angel has been having visions and dreams of a world with skyscrapers, flying metal beasts, and cigarette lighters. He wears a hip jacket with slacks which is very different from the leathered armor and medieval skirts his friends wear. So, when the Librarians tell the young adults that the quests are cancelled and anyone leaving the village in search of such lies will be executed, this, of course, only inspires Angel and his friend, Archer, to leave the village under cover of night, where they almost immediately begin to get into trouble with a demented variation of the Hansel and Greta story.

This is a clever idea and, like with most of Matt Kindt’s work, it’s taking its time to start the larger journey. He’s letting it breath. One really fun device that Kindt has embraced is subverting the voice of the narrator. All three issues so far have begun with the narration, “Once Upon a Time,” and, almost immediately, the narration dismantles the notion it just stated. What is time anyway?

The characters are fun and dynamic, and although we’re only just getting started on this quest, I have a feeling that this is going to go someplace really fun. Matt Kindt always finds a way to speak some kind of truth in his writing, and in dealing very directly with the idea of folktales, I’m very curious to see what he has on his mind.

Creative Team: Matt Kindt (writer), Matt Smith (illustrated by), Chris O’Halloran (colors), Jim Campbell (letters), Eric Harburn (editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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