Amy Unbounded

Posted: Saturday, January 29, 2000
By: Park

Cover of Amy Unbounded Creator(s): Rachel Hartman
Publishers: Self Published (Pug House imprint) although the flip book (see below) was done with the aid of Helikon Comics (they publish Galaxion, mentioned below).
From: Canada
Price: ?

Amy Unbounded is set in a medieval sort of setting (I'm not calling it a fantasy setting because you'd read that as meaning stocked to the gills with wizards, magic, goblins, billions of gods and goddesses and unicorns and elves, and there's really none of that here. There's one very pleasant dragon in disguise [I don't know how] as a human, and that's about it for the magical). It follows the adventures of a young girl just living her everyday life, hanging with a friend or two, helping with chores, etc. It's completely all-ages AND YET it's fascinating, partially for the great world-building Hartman has done and partially for the great storytelling and characterization. While Amy isn't going to run off and fight pirates or steal the palace jewels or anything (until she grows up, anyway), there's lots of things going on around her: her dad's on the verge of being shunned by the weaver's guild/union, her mom is from an amazonlike tribe of women from a different region and so sometimes has trouble fitting in amongst her husband's people, and lots more. In the issues I have, at least, Hartman constantly explores the details of the male-dominated society her characters live in, and Amy starts learning how and when a woman (i.e. herself, one day) has to adjust (or stand her ground) in such a world. However, none of this is ever blatant or preachy.

I have the three latest issues (or they were when I bought them); 7, 8, and 9, which I bought at Mid-Ohio Con last year, and a "flip book" that's one-half Amy Unbounded, and then you flip it over and it's one-half the excellent Canadian sci-fi independant comic Galaxion (but each half is previously unpublished material). Amy Unbounded really is one of my favorite comics of all time, which I think suffers from being a mini-comic. Dealers I've known only tend to stock minicomics from local creators who can deliver them to the store personally. They don't like to order them unless they've got a fan who demands that they stock it, and then they'll probably order one issue per month (or whatever). However, I can't knock Hartman, because I know her ashcan versions are cheaper to produce. Still, the comic-book sized-and-shaped flip book mentioned above was so great, with the cover(s) in color and all, that I must talk this comic up whenever I can. You can be proud to show/give it to your kids, your girlfriend, your... who else have you got whose opinion you care about?

In a Word: Favourite.

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