Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Matt Smith & Chris O’Halloran
In the second chapter of BOOM Studio‘s new take on the fantasy genre, the story starts to present conflict as Ansel and Archer venture into the forest on their quest to find the Folklords.
This issue starts off similar to the first one, with the dialogue boxes announcing “Once Upon a Time..” as usual in fantasy stories, but being immediately contradicted by what seems to be a different person writing the story (with lettering worthy of note by Jim Campbell). Archer, Ansel’s elf friend, shares his origin story as the two carry on their quest and decide to take the most challenging path every chance they get… since it’s a quest.
This issue displays Kindt’s knack for the comic book medium. Right away, with Archer’s backstory, we get a great example of the well known “show, don’t tell” trait which is the cornerstone principle of any visual-based medium. Not only that but the writer’s twist with Ansel’s visions of a modern world makes the reader question whether he’s so eager to go on a quest and help people, simply because he had a vision of a DnD session or is it because he’s genuinely adventurous on his own. Kindt also manages to further build Folklord‘s world mythology by introducing two new mysterious ladies and a new legend about the Weeping Wood Killer making this story richer by the page.
Matt Smith’s style is as charming as it gets. I was surprised as how much it reminded me of Mike Mignola’s but with a clever twist of charisma, since we’re not dealing with the same cold and bureaucratic world (which composes Mignola’s famous work, Hellboy), but a new and fantastic universe with a young-adult perspective on it. Not only the characters have an oddly unique design (considering that it doesn’t go too far from the well-explored fantasy genre) but their facial expressions are incredibly telegraphic despite the artist’s rather minimalist style. The comic’s coloring stays nowhere behind the line-art. O’Halloran’s work brings the exact atmosphere intended by the writer and any reader will feel what they’re supposed to in each scene and contributes heavily to Smith’s simplistic backgrounds.
Folklords was a great surprise for me this month since I had missed the release of the first issue and I hope it keeps on going strong because if this isn’t an excellent example of comic book (and innovative) storytelling, I don’t know what might be.