Ten years after the first volume of Amulet came out, Kazu Kibuishi is heading into the final stretch of the middle-grade fantasy series. Volume 8, subtitled Supernova, arrives in stores on September 25, with Kibuishi already working on the ninth and final volume, which he promises will send the characters off to ride bicycles on a distant planet.
In addition to sharing the exclusive debut of the trailer for Supernova, Kibuishi spoke with CBR about what he's thinking about as he winds up the plot threads and gets ready to bring his saga to an end.
CBR: Supernova is the eighth volume, and then you have just one to go. Are you still working on that one or is it finished?
Kazu Kibuishi: I have a contract for another book with Scholastic, but right now I’m just focused on doing research for volume 9 right. I’ve been doing field research. In Amulet 8, I went out and studied a lot of mountain bikes, and that actually played heavily into that book, and in the next book, because the characters are essentially left on a giant ambulance, I am studying what medics do.
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You have described this book as “a trilogy of trilogies.” Is there a single backbone that you have used to construct the whole story?
Yes, in that where we are going to end up in the story is generally what I had planned from the beginning, but as I continued through the story, the arcs got more complicated and a lot bigger. I see it as a circle, like an elastic band that has expanded to encompass a lot more than I anticipated
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So you didn’t originally plan for it to be nine volumes long?
No, I had no idea how long it would be, and I didn’t know that Amulet would be my big project. I thought of it as a warmup to other projects.
How hard is it to tell a story over a series of volumes like this—and how hard is it to keep your audience engaged?
There are new things that go into each book that really are reflective of what I’m thinking of while I’m writing that particular book. There is an arc, but most of the ideas in each book are reflective of my current life. So it is fresh. If I’m going on the journey with the characters, the characters have to go on this journey with me as well. So I found middle ground between what I planned to do and what I currently would want to do. Like the bicycles in volume 8—I had no idea I would be drawing characters riding bikes on another planet. That came as a surprise, but it made sense in the moment. I ride all the time, every week. I researched mountain bike suspension design and I incorporated that into the design of the bikes in the book.