This week we are going to talk about The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw #2, written by Kurt Busiek with art by Benjamin Dewey. This is… wait for it… another Image book; no surprise there.
This issue is, as you can tell, fairly new. It’s about a world populated by humanoid animals that have a hierarchy and a culture—a culture so advanced they have flying cities, magic, slavery, and racism! It may sound like I am going to come down on this book, but I honestly enjoy it. It’s a fun book where a lot of serious stuff goes down, but has amazing art showing animal, adorable and dangerous animals, having their own world. What cat or dog owner has never thought about a world run by their pets, or given their pets a human voice?
In the first issue the wizards of the land decided to try to summon the Great Champion to bring more magic into their world, since magic is a precious and finite resource. There we are introduced to Dunstan, a pit-bull person, whose father is a trader. Through the character of Dunstan’s father we get a first glimpse at the ideas of elitism and racism in the world of Tooth and Claw as he very poorly mistreats the bison people of the plains, who trade with the sky people.
This issue deals with the fallout of the wizards’ attempts to summon the Great Champion—that fallout being the fact that they crash the sky city and the Bison people are now attacking them! Thankfully they don’t all die as… no, wait, I can’t spoil it. Read the issue for yourself. It’s awesome!
I have a feeling that this is going to be a big comic set in a big world full of all sorts of magic. I hope we are not tied to one place, but I feel like we are going to start a general, Dungeons and Dragons-style epic adventure through lands to some ultimate goal. I seriously can’t wait for it, either; I would so love for this comic to live up to its epic potential. High fantasy and high adventure seem well within Tooth and Claw’s reach, and I genuinely hope the story goes that way.
The art is gorgeous in this book as well. All the characters feel very authentic in their dress and attitudes. The characteristics in the animal people are exactly what I would expect if that animal were suddenly transformed into its respective hybrid. Cat people are stubborn and want to do their own thing, bison people are good harvesters and wild African boar people are dressed in African-style dress. This story works on so many levels. Just keep in mind that this is a Mature Audiences book and is NSFW.
4/5 on this book for oh-so-many reasons. Tooth and Claw is well worth checking out!