The new Disney Kingdoms imprint is only two titles old, but it seems that its second outing might prove to be gangbusters! Already going to a second printing for issue #1 AND issue #2 (which sold out before it was released), readers seem to love Figment. Perhaps its the intriguing story written by Jim Zub. Perhaps its the intricate art by Filipe Andrade that is reminiscent of another popular artist, Humberto Ramos (Spider Man). Perhaps its the incredible covers by John Tyler Christopher (who has a flair for detail similar to John Cassaday). And perhaps its because it delves into the history of a character that has long been a Disney fan favorite. Unlike Seekers of the Weird, which only marginally went into the attraction it was supposed to be based on, Figment starts out with the origin story of everyone’s favorite purple dragon. The premise of his creation, the search for an alternate energy source, is reminiscent of the attraction while still being unique and original.
And while he hasn’t been named as such, we are also introduced to the Dreamfinder who is given the name of Blarion Mercurial in the comic book version. He even comes with his trademark top hat and blue jacket (and full red hair, beard, and mustache). It will be interesting to see if the comic book mini-series will lead us somehow to the Imagination Institute or connect Dreamfinder to our modern world (the series begins in the year 1910 in London, England).
Andrade’s depiction of the characters is spot on. His visual style is very true to the original attraction and makes Figment even more cute, adorable, and whimsical than before. The hardest part of doing an adaptation, whether its a book, a song, a movie, or even an attraction is adding to what has gone before without destroying it or changing it significantly. Probably the best example is when artists like to change the rhythm, tune, or even notes of the Star Spangled Banner to make it “their own.” The thing is, with a work that’s gone before, sometimes doing so ruins and fails to pay respect to the work that made it endearing in the first place. Not a problem with the Figment comic book which not only pays homage to the original Journey Into Imagination at Epcot, but deepens the mythology and makes it even more exciting! The creative team of Zub and Andrade have done a wonderful job of adapting this Disney legend!