Review: Folklords TPB
I checked this out more for Matt Smith's art than I did for Matt Kindt, but I came out of it really enjoying the entire package. I've always really enjoyed Smith's work (the short series Lake of Fire is one of my favorite fantasy/sci-fi mashups of the past few years), his style reminding me of a really fluid blend of Mike Mignola, Michael Avon Oeming, and Jeff Smith. So whenever he's doing a fantasy book I'm pretty much immediately down.
The series follows a young lad named Ansel who is gifted/cursed with dreams that inform film of strange clothing and gadgets, things he tries to manifest and mimic in his daily life living in a standard fantasy world.
So standard that all the kids are expected to announce their desired quest to the village, as a sort of coming of age/graduation deal. Ansel, always the one to stand out, has chosen a taboo quest.
People are nervous about his announcement because the Librarians are always watching. The Librarians are your standard fantasy cult that keeps the people in check by always 'shushing' them.
Once Ansel's friend Archer steals Ansel's quest announcement, the Librarians cancel all quests for the village. This forces Ansel and Archer to buck the orders of the Librarians and skip town to search for the Folklords. Questing antics ensue.
There's a really good pace to the story as different characters get their spotlights and bits and pieces of their history or revealed. While Ansel and the mystery of his dreams are front and center, you get pulled into the overall world through these supporting characters.
I really loved the character of Ugly, who decided that was her name because she wanted to own it after all the kids in her village mocked her. She had convinced herself that she was cursed at a young age, so her quest was to break the curse with 'true love's kiss'. So she pretty much just kisses people at random, but then just gets used to beating the shit out of people and just becomes this kick ass warrior.
Ansel sort of forms a little posse as the story progresses, and without spoiling too much else they sort of deal with some Folklords shenanigans and set up a potential second series. I'm looking forward to it as Kindt and Smith make a solid team and are forming a great world together.
This TP collects all five issues for $17.99 plus it gives you the variant covers which is nice as that includes work by Dan Mora, Davis Petersen of Mouse Guard, and Dustin Nguyen. Overall you're paying less than if you did for the single issues, plus you save money on variants, so win/win.