Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (2008) 187 p.

I’m well aware that Amulet is aimed at children, but I adore Kazu Kibuishi’s Copper comics, and love his covers for the Flight anthologies, and I read a review somewhere that compared Amulet to the works of Miyazaki, which was all I needed to hear to shell out ten bucks. Amulet: The Stonekeeper is the first graphic novel in a series, which follows the adventures of a young girl as she and her brother are drawn into a fantasy world after moving to a house in the country following the death of their father.

Comparing it to a Miyazaki film is a bit generous, but it’s certainly good kid’s adventure story, with monsters and alternate worlds and quirky little robot characters. Kibuishi indulges in his passion for awesome vehicles, and the final image in the book is particularly neat. It’s a fairly simple story but strong on art, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I was nine years old. As it was I was still pretty happy with it; I mean, it only took me about half an hour to read all 187 pages. (I finished this more than a week ago, just forgot to actually post the review.)

It did seem a little dark and gloomy, though, compared to his bright and airy Copper comics. They spend a lot of time underground, and even when they emerge it’s into a rain-soaked pine forest.

Anyway, I thought this was a pleasant enough children’s tale; I won’t rush out to buy the sequels, but I can definitely recommend it to kids and parents.