REVIEW: ‘Folklords,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Folklords Volume #1

Folklords Volume 1 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Matt Kindt, art by Matt Smith, colors by Chris O’Halloran, and letters by Jim Campbell. Meet Ansel. He lives in a quiet little village in a fairy tale land. But Ansel is different than everyone else. He has dreams of a world were people wear ties and horseless carriages travel at incredible speeds. He doesn’t know exactly what these dreams mean, but he thinks he knows who will. And he’s going to find them.

The surest sign that things are wrong within a society is when people start getting in trouble for simply asking questions. When knowledge becomes forbidden. This is certainly true in Folklords Volume 1 as Ansel discovers when he decides to set out to find his answers.

You see, his sleepy little village is run by the Librarians. A rather authoritative regime that doesn’t permit people to look for anything they declare forbidden. They decide to enforce their authority in Folklords Volume 1 just as the village is undergoing a yearly right of passage. The young people, upon turning 18, set out on a quest to find some magical person, place, or thing. The quest is supposed to be a way for young people to discover themselves and who they are, more so than actually finding the thing they go seeking. But looking for Folklords is a step too far, and the Librarians cancel the tradition and enforce their own rules on the townspeople.

The mere threat of execution isn’t enough to impede our wide-eyed would-be wanderer though. Ansel will see his quest through and nd he’ll do it with an unwavering sense of optimism. More than any mystical dream, or odd clothing, it is this sense of optimism that truly sets Ansel apart.

Folklords Volume 1

Folklords Volume 1 does a great job of setting an exceptionally dreary tone for its narrative. This is in no small part due to Kindt’s character-driven writing. The world is hard and dangerous. Trusting others can lead a person to a dreadful end. The majority of Kindt’s characters reflect this world in their personalities. They are scared or embittered. Almost every character in this story is written in shades of jade. But Ansel is the bright spot. Spurred on by his belief in the world he has seen, and the wonders it holds, he refuses to be broken. Happily, Kindt doesn’t allow Ansel’s optimism to become full-blown naiveness. He thinks the best of people, and he’ll give them a chance to show they are good, but he isn’t blissfully ignorant of the dangers of his world.

The world of Folklords Volume 1 is also enhanced through its visual presentation. This begins with artist Smith’s highly effective work.  Every setting visited in this story has an innate sense of weight to it. Like the gloom that rests over it has manifested itself in an external pull that slumps shoulders and bends trees.

This sense of gloom is further enhanced through O’Halloran’s colors. Once beyond the edge of town, the world becomes wrapped in darker, bleaker tones. Only the red of the Librarians’ tunics breaks the oppressive color scheme, but the red they bring to the panels is devoid of warmth or hope.

The final piece in Folklords Volume 1 presentation is Campbell’s fine lettering. The lettering achieves everything it needs to. It tells the story in a clear manner and never inhibits the reader’s ability to appreciate the art within the pages.

When all is said and done, Folklords Volume 1 is a fine beginning to a fantasy adventure. It centers itself nicely on a strong likable protagonist and his band of compatriots who have a quest that needs completing.

Folklords Volume 1 Is available on July 15th wherever comics are sold.

Folklords Volume 1
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Folklords Volume 1 is a fine beginning to a fantasy adventure. It centers itself nicely on a strong likable protagonist and his band of compatriots who have a quest that needs completing.