Graphic Novelty²


The Autumnlands

The Autumnlands (Vol. 2): Woodland Creatures

Dusty and the Great Champion – Learoyd – are making their way through the mountains. They’re trying to find a great source of magic to restore Dusty’s fallen city to the clouds. They find along the way other animal clans having trouble – a goat clan, all slaughtered save one, and a sheepfold losing their children and elderly to poisoned water. Dusty seems to be getting more powerful – he can do more advanced spells, and sustain them for a longer amount of time. Learoyd and Dusty know they must be getting closer to the magic source – but who, or what, will be waiting for them when they find it?

… To be honest, this volume really didn’t make a lot of sense. There are so many new elements that are introduced, and they all seem to clash together. Nothing is explained, so it’s not apparent how everything fits. I felt I had to go back and read the first volume to try and pick up the story again (and who’s got time for that?). The art is still beautiful, and I enjoy the way it’s laid out, with chapter title pages and things, like a blend of a print book and graphic novel. It’s pretty to look at; however, the story completely lost me.

– Kathleen

Busiek, Kurt, Benjamin Dewey, and Jordie Bellaire. The Autumlands (Vol. 2): Woodland Creatures. 2017.

The Autumnlands (Vol. 1): Tooth and Claw

Busiek, Kurt, and Benjamin Dewey. The Autumnlands (Vol. 1): Tooth and Claw. 2015.

The magic is disappearing from a world which cities float in the sky, populated by anthropomorphic animals. In the city of Keneil, a conclave of wizards gather in a last-ditch attempt to restore their world. They call a Champion from another world, hoping for a savior to restore order. The magic they use to call the Champion is too great, causing the city to fall crashing to the Plains below. The survivors, haunted and hunted by the creatures of the ground, try to salvage what’s left of their homes and families. And their Champion… is not at all what they imagined. Can he really save them?

I. Am in LOVE. With the art of this book. It’s colorful and richly detailed. Each issue starts with a chapter title page, each featuring a two-page spread of a painting opening the chapter, and a few introductory paragraphs. These remind me of old fantasy novels you buy on impulse at the drugstore checkout counter, except not nearly as cheesy. There are multiple animal tribes that are shown and drawn, and they’re all wonderfully expressive and emotive as humans would be. There are a few battle scenes with tons of blood and a few of nudity (not sexual), so I got a little queasy, but not too much. I’m more than interested enough in the world to keep going.

I’m mad there isn’t a second volume yet. Oh well, I suppose I can wait… for now =P

– Kathleen

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