When Mel and Max’s parents disappear and relations have their legs chopped off the Weird children are forced to demand questions of books and ride chairs that can talk back. Even with their preexisting knowledge of the Wardens they may not be safe.
DISNEY KINGDOMS SEEKERS OF THE WEIRD
Writer: Brandon Seifert
Penciler: Karl Moline
Inker: Rick Magyar
Colourist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99
Brother/sister duo Mel and Max Weird are on the ropes and in good company when one considers the proud tradition of Disney heroes and heroines: problems with parents. Although their’s are not quite dead (yet), they are in need of saving by their children. Again, in true Disney fashion, nerdy Max and star athlete Mel must combine their respective strengths to a safe end. In Seekers of the Weird #2 Mel and Max are joined by their uncle Roland who introduces them to the idea of the Wardens. The Wardens are people of the world charged with the caretaking supernatural objects and wrangling strange goings-on. Roland and the parents Weird were some of this society’s contemporaries, thereby making Mel and Max Wardens-in-Training, if you will.
As a logical next step, Roland has brought his niece and nephew to the Museum of the Weird (conveniently located within the family homestead), filled with all the great and scary things one may suspect. Through this trip Uncle Roland (with chopped off legs), tries to keep his niece and nephew focused on finding a Clock. Mel and Max ask important questions to flying Harry Potter-esque books, fight a golem Librarian and ride on a Walking Chair (from the Living Room), that responds in the style of a polite English butler when instructed to walk, run and turn. Although Brandon Seifert writes Roland as quite annoying and borderline-insulting to Mel and Max’s intelligence, he ferries them through a fantastical tale and provides some useful exposition to the reader.
Mel and Max, at the hands of Seifert, speak like polite teenagers and squabble as one would expect of a brother/sister pair. They are fun characters individually and working together and in Seekers of the Weird #2’s final panels when they meet the ghostly incarnations of past Wardens the reader is left with the sense that they will be able to take care of themselves, like Aladdin.
PAINT ME A PICTURE
Seekers of the Weird #2 is such a beautiful comic! Karl Moline, Rick Magyar and Jean-Francois Beaulieu work together effortlessly and present the illusion that the characters are painted straight onto the page. Whether it be the quote-unquote “real world” or the mystical setting of the Museum of the Weird the art is reminiscent of fairytale story illustrations. They are grand, swirling and colourful and speak very much to the comic’s much mentioned Disney origin.
I appreciate that Mel and Max, as siblings, appear similar enough without being carbon copied character models and they do look appropriately dissimilar to their parents and uncle. Everyone looks their age! The more supernatural characters are alien enough that we know they don’t belong in our own homes, but familiar enough that we could imagine them stepping into reality if our world were inclined toward such things. The strength of Karl Moline’s art is this ability to present a world on the pages of Seekers of the Weird #2 that could, maybe, possibly be real.
WHERE WAS THIS WHEN I WAS 11?
Disney Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird #2 is a great issue, but it’s probably a lot greater if you’re 9 – 12, much like the Amulet series of graphic novels. I would recommend picking it up to anyone interested in the urban fantasy genre with the footnote that: it should be approached with an understanding of the age range it is written for. Fun times!