New Zealand cartoonist K. O’Neill has won acclaim and awards for their much loved Tea Dragon Society trilogy, and their latest book, The Moth Keeper, is another story about magical creatures, community and how they work together.
Anya is a teen girl who has been given the task of “Moth Keeper” – protector of the lunar moths that allow the precious Night-Lily flower to bloom once a year, its pollen essential to her people’s well-being. It’s a huge responsibility and one that Anya takes seriously – even though it means long, isolated nights herding the moths among the hills.
Anya’s village is a “night village” that lives in the dark. But on her travels she glimpses the “day village” and wonders what it would be like to spend just one day in the sunlight…
The Moth Keeper is drawn in a gorgeous style reminiscent of Mary Blair and the story, filled with legends and magic, has notes of Miyazaki and Witch Hat Atelier. But it’s really all O’Neill, a lovely story about dealing with responsibility and finding your place in the world. Look for an interview with them later this week in Publisher’s Weekly’s More to Come Podcast. They previously talked about their work here on the Beat here.
O’Neill’s work has been much honored: they’re a 2019 Eisner nominee for Best Children’s Comic (Aquicorn Cove), 2018 Eisner winner for Best Children’s Comic, 2018 Eisner winner for Best Webcomic, 2018 Harvey co-winner for Best Children’s Comic, 2018 Dwayne McDuffie Award winner for Kids’ Comics (The Tea Dragon Society), 2017 ALA Amelia Bloomer List, and a 2017 Dwayne McDuffie Kids’ Comics Award nominee (Princess Princess Ever After).
The Moth Keeper is intended for ages 8-12 and comes out on March 7th and is published by Random House Graphic.