Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Amulet and Jellaby

Follow-up post for the Kean and Kazu event at the Beguiling. Managed to snag me a copy of both, signed by the authors especially for an upcoming TAIS event. Hmmm...two signed copies of two books with monsters in 'em? Coincidence? Stay tuned... Thanks to Kean Soo and Kazu Kubuishi for letting me bend their ears for a while, and for signing them books!

Meanwhile, the books. Both authors are workin' with tried and true themes here...a magic item in an old house opens up a gateway to a hidden world in 'Amulet', and a young loner-ish girl finds a pet monster in 'Jellaby'. These are not hackneyed stories, however. Kazu's 'Amulet' is imbued with wonderfully evocative artwork that practically animates off the page, and his characterization of a family rocked by tragedy trying to rebuild itself is heartfelt. You'll want to stick along for the ride.

As for 'Jellaby', well, just look at him! Kean's pet monster story isn't all fluff either. There's a real dark edge to Portia, his main character...a scene inside a police station with a handcuffed crook creeped me the hell out, and gives a hint at tragic past events without slapping you about the head and neck. Jellaby the monster is an interesting character as well, at turns childish and curious but loyal and quick to protect his friends. Only, who is that dark character in Portia's dreams? My only complaint...the book ends all too soon. Lookin' forward to the follow-ups for both these books!

Special thanks to The Beguiling for hosting the signing during a raging snowstorm, no less, and for last year's Free Comic Day event, where I discovered 'Jellaby'. Also, a shout-out to Kimonokitsy Studios, who clued me into 'Amulet' and Kazu's other fine works. Oh, and more monster hints later...

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