WARNING: Contents May Be Hazardous to Your Health (Folklords #3 Comic Review)

Written by Matt Kindt

Illustrated by Matt Smith

Colored by Chris O’Halloran

Lettered by Jim Campbell

“Breadcrumbs always lead to something really…really bad.”

In This Issue: Ansel wakes up in a dark room full of outlandish devices, and Greta. The Weeping Wood Killer? Turns out that it’s not a ‘he’–it used to be, but he taught Greta and her brother Hanz everything he knew. The trouble was, he taught them so well that they used his techniques against him…and ate him, likely for several consecutive meals. There wasn’t much to eat besides the candy covering his gingerbread cottage, after all. The candy, laced with something untoward, eventually turned Hanz into a bug-eyed, hunchbacked, monosyllable-spouting brute. Greta had no stomach for the stuff, and as a result, avoided suffering the same fate as her brother, but she developed a penchant for torture, and any child or young adult or innocent found wandering in the woods became fair game.

Greta and Hanz’s plans for Ansel—involving a drill and the seed to grow a tree out of his soon-to-be-mangled corpse—are cut short, however, by the arrival of Ugly, the homely woman Ansel and Archer had run into a day or so before. While Ugly dispatches Hanz and Greta, Ansel makes his escape, but only as far as the front yard. Ugly torches the house and takes Ansel home with her, where she informs him that his ‘best friend’ Archer sold him out to the murderous siblings. They talk about Ansel’s quest, and he shows her a book he snatched on his way out of the gingerbread house, stolen from the Branch Library of Banned Books.

It’s a breadcrumb.

My Two Cents: In issue #3 of Folklords the larger machinations of the plot are being unveiled, and the story has taken a darker turn than one might have expected. Most of the issue takes place in the basement of the gingerbread cottage, and the dialogue is just as busy as the art. The reader is receiving a great deal of important information through the characters’ conversations, and the setting provides an equal amount of visual stimulation. The room is littered with arcane torture devices and the portraits of victims painted by Greta to serve as mementos of their ‘guests’. Matt Smith does a wonderful job of differentiating his normal illustrative style from Greta’s, which lends to the overall creepiness of the situation in which Ansel finds himself.

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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
Now we're getting somewhere. The diversion from the trope I was hoping for is beginning to unfold. Taking Hansel and Gretel and effectively making them serial killers makes a nice (albeit creepy) change. I found Matt Smith's interpretation of Greta's artistic style to be reminiscent of that of Quentin Blake, illustrator of many of Roald Dahl's books, which works beautifully, since great many of Dahl's characters were, well, whackadoodle. I also appreciated the name given to the man who took Greta and Hanz in and taught them the delicate art of torture—Tines. Like, on a fork. I mean, what else would you call a dude who lived in a house made of food?
Good
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Layered storytelling
Bad
  • Story is a bit predictable
8.5
Great
Writing - 8
Art - 9
Story - 9
Predictability - 8
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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