“…futile causes and suicide missions.” (Folklords #4 Comic Review)

Written by Matt Kindt

Illustrated by Matt Smith

Colored by Chris O’Halloran

Lettered by Jim Campbell

I’m a reflection of the world. The quest is the lie they tell you to keep you occupied.

In This Issue: Ansel and Ugly make their way to the Branch Library of Banned Books, intending to break in. On their way, they meet a lone Librarian—one who seems to know Ansel and why he’s there. Ugly and the Librarian tussle until Ansel puts a stop to it (with a homemade air horn,) and remembers where he’s seen this Librarian before—in his visions. The Librarian claims he’s there to help, though Ugly is skeptical, especially at Ansel’s over-eagerness to believe their newfound companion.

Nevertheless, they follow the Librarian into an underground passage, presumably leading to the branch library itself. Ansel questions their companion—his name is Sal Paradise—about his role in Ansel’s quest, among other things, and Sal claims to know as little as they do insofar as visions are concerned, but he does know that fighting the Librarians will take more than him, or one kid on a quest. Sal tried once, and was exiled. He needs help.

At least, that’s what he says before he disappears, leaving Ansel and Ugly in the Librarynth, a maze of rooms, each room representing a book. The place is bizarre, full of prisoners appearing to be drugged, playing the roles of the book characters.

One of them is Archer.

Elsewhere, the Librarians have discovered the entrance to the secret passage has been left open, and swarm into the building, presumably on their way to find the invaders.

And then, and then…

My Two Cents: Issue #4 of Folklords has turned up the heat in the plot department—it’s just a shame they didn’t a bit earlier. This issue moved at a decent clip and developed a deeper level of storytelling, giving the reader a more fleshed-out idea of the world in which the story takes place—a more solid understanding of the players in the game, so to speak. As always, art and story worked together to make this issue cohesive. It almost felt as if there was more art than usual packed into this issue which, considering the amount of information we were presented with, was immensely helpful. The overall tone of this issue was rather dark, and the color scheme reflected that throughout, which lent a nice ambiance to the reading experience.

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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
Okay, NOW we're getting somewhere. The ending to this issue added a final layer to the story that it really needed. Without spoiling it for you, I can't say much else on the subject, but just know that we've had a reveal that will likely push the plot along in a more coherent manner. The only downside to this is that had I not been reviewing this book, I'd likely have dropped it after the second issue. The predictability factor in the beginning was high, giving Folklords the appearance of any other hero's journey story, which, while not being a deal-breaker in and of itself, it didn't manage to grab me in the way I had hoped it might, since the premise was to take the usual modern-to-fantasy trope and reverse it. When it takes a story this long to get itself going, leaving readers both unchallenged and a bit confused—the layers of the story have only just slid into place in issue 4—it's all too easy for your audience to shrug it off and go on to other, more immediately engaging works.
Good
  • Layered storytelling
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
Bad
  • Story is a bit predictable
8.3
Great
Art - 8
Story - 8
Writing - 8
Predictability - 9
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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