Title: Folklords #1
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art: Matt Smith
Published: November 13, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: From Narnia to Harry Potter, we’ve seen our hero leave the real world for a fantasy world—but in Ansel’s world of monsters and magic he’s haunted by visions of our world with tailored suits and modern technology! Ansel embarks on his Quest to find the mysterious Folklords, hoping they can explain his visions…but looking for the Folklords is punishable by death. What will Ansel risk to find out about the world he has never truly belonged in? Eisner Award-nominated writer Matt Kindt (Grass Kings, Black Badge) teams with acclaimed artist Matt Smith (Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.) challenge everything you know about the line between fantasy and reality in a new series for fans of Die, Middlewest and Fables.
Parodied fairy tales are nothing new, everything from Shrek to Star Wars began as a twist on a classic story, but what Folklords seems to be doing is wholly different. Instead of a protagonist leaving the world of the mundane in favor of the supernatural, our main character, Ansel, seeks to leave behind a magical world to seek out a structured and orderly world similar to our own; this is what makes Folklords stand out, doing something I’ve seen, in a way I’ve never seen before, which is exactly what makes it so exciting to read.
The groundwork Folklords lays gives a strong foundation for its story in the coming-of-age school selection, The Giver and Village-esque town Ansel seeks to depart from is filled with mystery and a controlling government that seeks to keep the mundane away from the fantastic, precisely the opposite of most controlling governments in other stories. As exciting the prospect of a boy from a fantasy world seeking a world much like ours is, I’m almost disappointed we won’t spend all of our time with Kindt and Smith’s charming fairytale world where Trolls trade favors for pies and school kids talk about embarking on quests like modern teenagers talk about going to Chipotle. The world feels lived in and fresh, and it will remain to be seen if it’s one worth returning to.
Smith’s art and colors really help the world pop and settle into its own, and Kindt’s dialogue feels natural and evocative all at once. This is a team that seeks to set out on their own journey to tell a story, and it’s shaping up to be one that shouldn’t be missed under any circumstances.
The Bottom Line
Folklords #1 takes a familiar premise and quite literally changes the pieces around, creating a fresh and unique coming-of-age tale that seeks to change the way we look at stories and the fantastic.