|Comics aren't just for adults anymore.|
Amulet is a children's comic by Kazu Kibuishi. I use the phrase "children's comic" lightly here as it's definitely mature and deep enough for me, a 25 year old man, to really enjoy it. Anyway, it's a comic centered around a family of two children and their mother who, after moving into their grandfather's house somehow found their way into a Narnia-like land called Alledia. Keep Reading to find out how awesome combining anthropomorphic animals and giant monster fighting can really be!
Alledia is awesome. I may have been a little misleading with the Narnia comment. The only similarities it really shares with C.S. Lewis' fantasy world is the fact that it's a hidden world and animals talk in it (ok, and have some pretty awesome sword-fighting moves). Alledia is a crazy amalgamation of lots of really cool fantasy and sci-fi ideas. Before I get into too much detail trying to describe the world I want to make sure one thing is clear - they all work together. Everything seems like it should be too stark and different, but it all clicks. That, combined with the relationships that form the center of the story, is was makes Amulet click. Here's some stuff you'll find in Amulet:
- Tentacled Lovecraftian Horrors
- Giant Robot or Kaiju Fighting Complete With Launching Rocket Fists
- Evil Pale-Skinned Elves
- Ultra-Cool Bounty Hunter Types
- Talking Robots Including One That Is A Pink Bunny
- Talking Animals a la Disney's Robin Hood
- Jedi-like Powered Individuals (powered by the titular Amulets)
- Flying Lost Cities In The Sky
|Volume 2 features extra comic bang for your buck!|
Volume three was just released and has yet again blown me away. Let me offer a little more explanation on the relationships bit from above. There are really two primary family relationships that seem to run the story. The first, and the one that follows our protagonists, is the family of Emily (the star of the book), her younger brother Navin, and their mother. Emily "inherited" or found and grabbed her great-grandfather's Amulet which imbued her with awesome powers. It also pulled them into the world of Alledia and towards the dangers of the evil Elf King. Speaking of which, the other relationship driving the plot is that between the Elf King and his son, Trellis. The Elves in Alledia are cruel, pale-skinned, and just down-right evil. It's a harsh contrast between Emily's and Trellis' families and cultures, but each are given access to their own power with their Amulets.
|Vo. 3 should be titled "In Which Navin Continues to be Awesome."|
And let's not forget Leon Redbeard. I have a strong skepticism of talking animals, but it's really not fair nor is it earned. I love Mouse Guard afterall, and those mice speak like Olde English Professors. The Resistance, basically the good guys of Alledia who fight the Evil Elf King, is largely populated by people are have been cursed and slowly turned into more animal-like people. Leon Redbeard, the fox pictured on the covers above, is my favorite of these animal folk. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that Robin Hood is one of my favorite Disney movies, but enough about me! Leon acts as a sort of Amulet guru and personal bodyguard to Emily, and he is one mean dude when you pick a fight with him!
|Why yes, those are walking houses.|
I can recommend Amulet for anyone who likes fantasy stories - modern or classic. I feel like Amulet as a story is only really just beginning. The world of Alledia is huge and can incorporate pretty much any crazy and fantastical thing Kibuishi can dream of. That's one of the huge reasons I could see it being a fantastic role-playing setting. It's just so imaginative and incrorporates so many classic concepts in a new way. While it starts off a little slowly - the first half of Volume 1 takes place in our world - it sets the tone and the stakes early on and just builds from there. Give it a shot!