I love Rise of the Guardians and have adored the story since I first saw it in theaters the day it came out. Until that movie, I had never been a big fan of certain childhood idols like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, or Sandman—in fact, they used to terrify me—but William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood series and works based on them have managed to capture my heart all the same. As such, it didn’t take me long to discover a fan comic series based on the movie.
Rufftoon, also known as Johane Matte, works as both a story board artist for Dreamworks Animation and as a comic book illustrator. Not only did she work on Rise of the Guardians, she also did work on Avatar: The Last Airbender, as well as a few others series. So when I first stumbled upon her comic series on deviantART, I naturally fell in love almost immediately.
As of currently, Rufftoon has around ten or so mini comic series for Rise of the Guardians, most of which revolve around Pitch and what he was up to in the Dark Ages. Each series is only a couple pages long each, and all are really easy reads. As it looks as though we won’t be getting a RotG sequel, since it’s been years now and one still isn’t in the works, Rufftoon’s comics are an easy way to further explore the characters, even if what she did write may not be considered canon.
My favorite series by her are Light and Shadow and First Movement. In Light and Shadow, Pitch discovers a man falsely accusing and then condemning people for witchcraft. Unbeknownst to Pitch, though, the accuser is actually a light demon, and when Pitch accidentally reveals him to the humans by making people afraid of demons, the demon retaliates. Pitch thankfully survives the encounter, and the whole confrontation is witnessed by a young boy, who then decides to accompany Pitch in his travels.
First Movement shows us some of their time together—the boy has a cleft lip and is therefore hated and despised, wrongly, by other humans. He is also a bit of an annoyance to Pitch, because he’s not afraid of anything Pitch does—he’s not even afraid of the prospect of death. All the same, Pitch takes a liking to the boy and sticks with him for a while. He only leaves him after he loses a tooth and he knows the Toothiana will be coming for it.
Despite how short each story is, they do give a lot of insight into the characters while doing a really good job of exploring their backstories. A few of the comics are also about Tooth and North. We see how Tooth treats the teeth she takes—even years after the boy dies, Tooth keeps his teeth in a special box which she treasures, because the boy is the only child ever to have positive memories of Pitch, which she doesn’t think will ever happen again. We get to see how serious Tooth is about her job, and how she guards and treasures the memories children leave behind. In another comic, we even get to see how North first became a Guardian, and in yet another, we get to see what Jack gets up to in his 300 years of living.
For anyone interested in Rise of the Guardians, I would most definitely check this series out. Rufftoon has a lot of other works as well, and though I haven’t gone through all of her deviantArt page, I have no doubt that they will also be fun to read. Be sure to check out her work on DA, and you can also follow her on Twitter here.