Gogor is the latest science fiction fantasy from Planetoid Praxis creator Ken Garing. It has been a little while since his last comic published from Image Comics (we talked a bit about that with him earlier this month), which makes me even more excited about Gogor. The series drops us into a brand new world of floating islands, lush alien life, and a scholar who is being chased by a mysterious group of soldiers. Time to summon the Gogor!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
From KEN GARING, the writer/artist of the acclaimed series PLANETOID, comes an all-new ongoing series of wonderfully weird high fantasy! Deep underground, among the floating islands of Altara, the mystical Gogor sleeps. But trouble brews above ground as soldiers of the Domus impose their will across the land. Now, a young student named Armano must awaken Gogor and begin his quest to protect the culture of Altara. This debut issue kicks off with 28 pages of story!
Why does this matter?
Like the Dark Crystal? How about world building? Gogor is the type of book for you.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Running at about 28 pages of content (not counting the cover and afterword) this is a good first issue establishing the main character, giving us a taste of this rich world, and setting up the conflict. Garing tells a highly visual story, allowing pages and panels to show and not tell. That’s a breath of fresh air and makes this world feel more vivid and true. The pace is steady, quick at times, but always going at just the right rate. By the end of the issue, you’re fully invested in the quest at hand and more importantly the world. The main character serves as a surrogate for readers since he’s young and doesn’t quite know everything about this world, which makes this book feel more like a fantasy than a science fiction story.
Garing has a way of drawing that’s simple, yet complex at the same time. Take for example a scene where the main character is trying to pick a water container. Over two panels we see what he’s looking at, thinking, then a eureka moment. That eureka is a subtle change in his expression, but it does so much in keeping the character’s calmness and oneness with his choice feel real. In other cases, an image might show a simple rock, tree, and a drapped cloak over a branch, but the framing is just right.
This is the kind of story that gets your imagination going. How does this planet function with floating islands in the sky? There seem to be all sorts of races, but how do they interact? The main character is a scholar, but does that make him special in any way? There isn’t an explanation for everything, but there’s tons of wonderment to think over as you read.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
It’d be nice if there was a bit more about the main character. As it stands he’s a good surrogate for the audience, but he seems like your basic young character trying to do his best. He has no distinguishable traits aside from his ability to ride his giant shrew quite well. What makes him special and is he special at all? Questions that could use some answers.
Is it good?
I liked this first issue quite a bit. It’s well-paced, easy to follow, and introduces so much in a satisfying story. Gogor is a world well worth exploring.