You Guys Just Don’t Get It (Folklords #1 Comic Review)

Written by Matt Kindt

Illustrated by Matt Smith

Colored by Chris O’Halloran

Lettered by Jim Campbell

“Knowledge is a freaking curse.”

In This Issue: BOOM! Studios’ new release Folklords, out November 13th, is a new twist on a familiar trope. Ansel is an odd boy. He dresses differently than his peers. He has niche interests. He creates mechanical gadgets no one has ever seen before. However, instead of Ansel existing in our world and yearning for fantasy, Folklords spins it the other way around. Ansel’s suit and tie and wristwatch are a source of consternation for his parents, a source of teasing for his friends, and a source of suspicion for the rest of the village.

Ansel is eighteen and, as is tradition in his village, is about to announce his quest along with all of his friends. The night before the announcement ceremony there is a party, and Ansel tells his friends that his quest will be to find the legendary Folklords.

Cue much gasping and shocked faces.

Ansel’s friends are mixed in their response to his proclamation–some ridicule his quest as being worthless because the Folklords are most certainly not real, while the others speak in hushed tones of The Librarians, who will not react kindly to Ansel’s choice. Ansel himself leaves the party, aggravated by his friends’ reactions. One friend, Dee, follows him and tries to convince him to change his mind–he doesn’t.

The next day at the announcements, Archer, a friend of Ansel’s, finds himself still unable to think of a quest–so he ‘borrows’ Ansel’s and announces that he will quest to find the Folklords. The Librarians swoop in immediately, calling the announcements to a halt, imposing a boundary on the village for the sake of ‘safety’, and assigning arbitrary quests to this year’s questors.

Ansel, unsatisfied, finds Archer, and the two of them set off…on a real quest.

My Two Cents: The concept of Folklords, flip-flopping the traditional ‘modern-day-dreams-of-fantasy-land’, while perhaps not outrageously novel, is certainly intriguing. Kindt manages to strike a good balance between necessary exposition and world-building knowledge, and his writing is easy to follow. The flow of the dialogue is adequate, though the dialogue itself is on the clunky side. Smith’s art, in combination with O’Halloran’s colors, create a vibrant, busy, full world. There are a few moments of artistic dissonance where the image doesn’t quite match up with the dialogue. Overall, Folklords is a solid book and will hopefully overcome these little faults in future issues.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
While I appreciate the twist Kindt and Smith have put on this trope, I personally found issue #1 to err on the side of predictability. This could simply be a necessary evil insofar as setting the scene for the remainder of the story, it makes me wonder if we’re in for another ‘hero’s journey’ tale in different clothes. If you’ve read my reviews before, you’ll already know that I’m something of a stickler for the flow and readability of all of the facets of a book--dialogue, visuals, and overall story--and since this first issue contained a few incongruous moments (a character’s dialogue looking awkward with the manner in which they were drawn in that panel, and some other areas of clunky character exchanges,) I’ll be on the lookout for those points in future issues.
Good
  • Varied and interesting universe inhabitants
  • Story elements are balanced
Bad
  • Instances of awkward dialogue
  • Story is a bit predictable
6.9
Fair
Art - 8
Story - 7
Writing - 7.5
Predictability - 5
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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