Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series has quietly become one of the most loved graphic novel series for kids over the last decade. I say “quietly,” because most comics industry people don’t mention it, but I see kids reading it on the streets and around town all the time. It’s a #1 NY Times Bestseller and is a mainstay of the entire Scholastic Graphix line.
Amulet launched in 2008 with The Stonekeeper and 7 volumes out of a planned 9 have appeared since then. Kibuishi has carefully crafted a rich fantasy saga that starts when Emily Hayes finds her great-grandfather’s mysterious amulet, and continues as she and her brother, Navin, must navigate a strange new world filled with challenges to find their kidnapped mother. It’s a thrilling steampunk fantasy saga of elves, robots, airships, ancient societies and much more, all rendered with Kibuishi’s imaginative and intense artwork.
Scholastic has just revealed the cover for this penultimate volume right here on The Beat. With the story winding up, this volume finds the Hayes family facing ever greater mysteries and dangers. Though understandbly tight-lipped about the storyline, Kibuishi did answer a few questions for us:
THE BEAT: You’ve said that this is the most difficult project you’ve ever worked on. What made it such a challenge?
KAZU KIBUISHI: The list of new difficulties is a long one, but the one that had the biggest impact on the amount of research I had to do is the addition of major science fiction sequences. I knew that I would need to shift gears and I was looking forward to trying my hand at the genre, but I didn’t quite expect what a mammoth task this would be. So much of what we write in fantasy is rooted in examining the past, but with science fiction, we are examining the past and assessing the present to speculate about the future. Recognizing this has pushed me to study more current books and to do more research in various fields. On top of this, I am trying to make sure I set up for the ending of the series properly, and that has required exploring what that end might look like, then trekking back to the book I’m working on so I know how and where to build the narrative paths. Again, the list is long, and I could keep going.
THE BEAT: Without giving anything away, any hints as to what happens to Em and the Hayes family?
KIBUISHI: If their past actions and strength of character are any indication, I think they will be all right.
THE BEAT: 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the first Amulet book. Have you had the same ending in mind the whole time or has it changed much?
KIBUISHI: The same ending, but I feel I am beginning to understand it more.
Amulet #8: Supernova comes out on September 25, 2018.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the cover was run in the previous version of this post. Here is the correct cover.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.