Magic, Monsters and Raccoons, Oh My! Stone talks "The Grimoire"

Wed, December 21st, 2005 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

Many people dread the holidays because they mean spending quality time with their bizarre, dysfunctional family. Amandine, the protagonist of Speakeasy Comics's "The Grimoire" would be one of these people; her mother is a powerful sorceress who recently banished her father to a hellish dimension. Amandine's adventures continue this week with the release of " The Grimoire" #7, which finds her and her friends setting out to free her exiled father. CBR News spoke with the book's new writer Chris Stone, who begins his run with issue #7, about the series.

"Grimoire" #7 marks a good jumping on point for new readers. Stone believes there's not much that new readers need to know to enjoy his first issue. "You just need to be able to enjoy a fun story about a young girl in peril who can get monsters out of a magic book and her talking raccoon that flies around on a magic carpet with her," Stone told CBR News. "You know, the usual."

Amandine and her pet raccoon Chai have been through a lot in the first six issues of "The Grimoire." Issue #7 find them and their ally Zindel, a young warrior from a race of creatures that appear part human and part panther, recuperating in the realm of Faery. "They've had a rough go of it and this is only a few days after issue #6," Stone stated. "Amandine grew up mostly on her own so she is very independent and strong willed, so she is not resting at all. Zindel has pledged his loyalty so he is with her until the end no matter what happens. Zindel was born a warrior, but he is still very young and still very green. This mission is where he has decided to prove himself. Chai is not as sweet as he seems. Don't let the fact that he is cute and fuzzy fool you.

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Masahiro, the man whose hospitality Amandine and friends are enjoying in Faery, is also not exactly what he appears to be. Readers will get a hint of his true agenda in issue #7. "Masahiro is having Amandine do things she doesn't know she is going to be doing," Stone said. "With the dimensions of Faery and Earth at their highest peak in 300 years, we have only begun to see some of the trouble that is in store."

It is Masahiro who convinces the samurai warrior, Shinichi, who readers are introduced to in issue #7, to accompany Amandine and her allies back to Earth and assist with any trouble they might run into. "Shinichi knows what he is doing and how dangerous everything Amandine is dealing with is. He's literally a hired gun. Shinichi is a fish out of water in a lot of respects though, he's new to earth and the way things are done. He's used to killing first and asking questions later. That won't always work in this new situation. He's pretty stand offish and jerky, but it's mostly a defense mechanism to keep other people at arms length.

"Zindel admires him and his attitude, Amandine is not too fond of him but consented to his addition to the team because she realized they are woefully unprepared for things they might encounter," Stone continued. "Zindel, Chai and her may have the spirit and tenacity to face anything, but they lack experience. Even though Shinichi is not that much older than her he brings that to the table."

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With her friends rested and recuperated and their ranks bolstered by the deadly skills of Shinichi, Amandine and her allies return to Earth to find her missing father. "After Amandine's father Eric disappears into another dimension at the end of

'Grimoire' # 6 Amandine decides to go after him," Stone explained. "She knows where he is but doesn't know how to get there. So she goes to visit her Uncle Craig, who knows about such things. Trouble of course ensues.

"Uncle Craig is the leader of the Order of the Blood, they're a group that has been around since the 1700's, the last time magic was really a powerful force on Earth," Stone continued. "None of the Order can use magic, they are more like guardians and mentors to those that can. They are a little too self-important to be a genuine force for good, but Craig is more down to earth. He comes from a magic family, his brother can use magic, his niece can use magic and his sister in law can use magic. Craig has no abilities of his own but as the saying goes those who can't teach."

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With the adversaries and obstacles she faces in this upcoming arc, Amandine will need all the help and instruction Uncle Craig can give her. "Medea [Amandine's mother] is going to be making an appearance at some point as well as one of Amandine's (not so friendly) brothers," Stone stated. "We'll be seeing one of Faery's greatest villains and we'll find out that not everything in the Grimoire is always helpful."

After Stone's opening arc, "The Grimoire" will focus primarily on Amandine's adventures on Earth where she'll be encountering new allies and enemies. "Her mother is still a problem, but not the only problem," Stone explained. "There a lot of people looking for the Grimoire now that it has surfaced, but Amandine has it for a very good reason"

"The Grimoire" #7 also marks the debut of Stone's new artistic collaborator, Tom Fowler. "He's a fantastic artist. He did some great work on 'Green Arrow,' 'Caper' and numerous other projects," Stone stated. "He'll be doing issues 7-12 and more if I can get him for a longer period of time."

"Grimoire" is a fast-paced, fun-filled, adventure fantasy with occasional bursts of creepiness and horror. Stone believes the book offers something for everyone. "'Grimoire' is a traditional all ages book in the truest sense of the word," he said. "If you're 12 you'll have a good time reading it, but if you're 35 there's plenty to enjoy as well."

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