Picking up immediately after the events of the first part, The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness opens with Pig, Fox, and Hippo entering a new town they didn’t know existed. With their new friend Van, the three struggle to find their way home in time to warn their city of the dangerous fog making its way towards them.
Van, a wall-eyed lizard-like animal, is aloof, but proves himself useful as he escorts Pig, Fox, and Hippo from town to town helping them to find their way. Throughout the journey, Pig is haunted by the dark, ominous fog, into which his father disappeared. Every time the fog gets closer, Pig sees a black, smoky image of his father. This distracts Pig, but he keeps it to himself, trying to focus on getting home.
The story culminates in Mole Town where the inhabitants worship their mole god, which is not really a mole, but turns out to look very similar to Pig’s father. Without giving away too much, Pig, Fox, and Hippo brave an adventurous escape and get away from Mole Town. The book ends quickly after this, but does not wrap up the story, obviously leaving it open for the next graphic novel.
World Without Darkness is a quick read with some of the most beautiful illustrations I’ve seen in a graphic novel. Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi worked for Pixar and you can see the influence. The story can be a little confusing at times, but the illustrations make up for it. Pig, Fox, and Hippo are cute, anthropomorphic characters, but are expressive, emotional, and relatable. While the story is a bit dark, children will find something to like in this story. World Without Darkness mixes emotion and lightheartedness, which will appeal to children. I definitely recommend this for children who can’t get enough of Pixar movies.
The Dam Keeper, vol. 2: World Without Darkness
by Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
First Second, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: 7-11