Amulet: The Fantasy Worlds of Kazu Kibuishi

            Kamulet       Ikazukibuishi
            (The cover of Amulet, and author self-portrait from Scholastic's Amulet site)

One of the great pleasures of reading is coming across a book that surprises you and exceeds your expectations. Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi is one of those books, a graphic novel from Scholastic that is aimed at children and young adults, but which rewards adult reading as well. Right at the beginning of the book, a family loses its father. The mother, son, and daughter relocate to an old ancestral home, only to be immediately engulfed by a rich, fantastical world beneath the house.

Kibuishi, who edits the magnificent Flight series for Villard, does several things incredibly well in this opening volume: he raises the stakes from the beginning and makes it clear to the reader that this is serious and that actions have consequences. He also manages to create a vivid, deeply imaginative fantasy world that is evocative of his influences but not derivative of them. From the strange house underground to be-tentacled assailants and bizarre tick-like creatures, the setting comes alive and seems deeply believable. Scholastic has an amazing interactive webpage for Amulet that explains even more--definitely something to amuse and entertain you for more than a couple minutes. Curious about the origins of what seems to have all the makings of a modern classic, I recently interviewed Kibuishi via email... Please describe where you are while answering these questions.
Kibuishi: I am sitting in my studio where I work, located in Alhambra, California.  It's a fairly large loft with hardwood floors and lots of natural light.  A few of my friends work here with me on their own projects, and when we're at the final stretch of production on an Amulet book, a few more artists are working in here to help me get it done.  Today, my wife Amy and I are the only ones working in here.

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Comments (2)

Heres a great place to get free books and order them via amazon!!!! any kind, graphic novels, novelas, books you name it!!!!

Posted by: Uhsblonde | Tuesday April 8, 2008 at 4:42 AM

I stumbled across "Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper" in a brick and morter book store (sorry Amazon) when it reached out its tentacles and yanked me over to its display, refusing to release me until I agreed to purchase it....

Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway I'm glad I found it; it was an amazing beginning to what looks to be a marvelous tale. It struck me as having some superficial similarities to "The Spiderwick Chronicles" at the start, but we quickly get into unknown territory. There appears to be a lot of depth, and I'd wager there will be some tough moral choices ahead with serious consequences.

I haven't written a review for it, though I rated it on Amazon at five stars, because I find it difficult to review a portion of a serial that doesn't really stand too well on its own. For me at least the Endings MATTER, and I'll probably wait until then.

Besides, based on what's already out there on Amazon, Kazu Kibuishi doesn't really need my praise.

Posted by: FredTownWard | Friday March 21, 2008 at 3:19 PM

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