Ansel lives in a fairytale world, full of gnomes and trolls, giants and dragons. Every year, each person turning 18 chooses a magical quest, where they strike out into the world to seek their fortune—and find themselves. Ansel’s not like the other 18-year-olds, though. Instead of the traditional fairytale garb, he wears a suit and a tie. He tinkers with bizarre magical devices, such as wristwatches and cigarette lighters. And for his quest, he wants to journey to a strange and unknown land of towering glass buildings, horseless carriages, and flying machines—the domain of the legendary Folklords.
Of course, all knowledge of such a land is denied by those in charge and forbidden to everyone else; however, with the help of a few unlikely allies, Ansel may just be able to find the answers he’s been looking for his whole life.
This comic is very good at defying expectations. Just when you think you know what’s going on, it’s something else. It takes the classic fairytale tropes that you know and love and turns them on their heads. At times, this is done in a silly, almost parodying way, while at others, it serves to create tension and danger. Either way, there’s not a dull moment in this comic.
My only disappointment was that I thought this volume contained six chapters, or even seven. Instead, it was issues #1-5, and just as I found myself wanting more, the story cut off. Not that that’s a bad thing. The volume break does, in fact, come in the perfect place. Only now, I really want to find out what happens next, and I’ll have to wait.
The writing is clever and engaging, and the art helps to create a vivid fantasy world that manages to be both strange and familiar at the same time. What really makes this comic stand out, though, are the details. For instance: At the end of each chapter is a map of the fairytale world labelled, “Ansel’s Known World.” It’s a small picture in the middle of an otherwise blank page, but with each issue, it gets slightly bigger and slightly more detailed, as Ansel explores more of his surroundings and gets further into his quest.
It’s details like these that help make this world worth exploring for us, as well—and create a really fun story that I’m very excited about. If you’re a fan of fairy tales and/or fun and quirky adventure stories, Folklords is a series you won’t want to miss.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (writer, creator), Matt Smith (illustrator, creator) Chris O’Halloran (colorist), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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