Gogor #1: A Fabulous Fantasy Debut On A Large & Small Scale

by Richard Bruton

Mystical beings sleeping beneath the ground, a world of floating islands, the soldiers of Domus sweep across the land of Altara. What do they want? And how can young student, Armano, with his loyal shrew, Mesmer, and newfound friend, Wexil, protect his home? And just how does the mystical being called Gogor come into it all?

Well, here’s where we begin to find out the answers to all of those questions in a brand new ongoing fantasy series from Ken Garing and Image Comics. It has a sense of something very good, with some very attractive artwork and, although there’s perhaps not enough here in issue 1 to do more than tantalise, it’s certainly an incredibly promising start to a series.

I would tell you that there might be a few spoilers in this review. Although, given the cover, I’m giving nothing more than you can, easily, surmise from that, to be honest.

Ken Garing’s Planetoid was, in his own description, ‘industrial dystopian’ sci-fi, which makes Gogor a huge change, all green and lush and fantastical, as you can immediately see from that detail from page 1 above. We’re talking fantasy on a big scale, although scale is one of many fascinating things about Gogor.

That initial pursuit, with Armano and his shrew, Mesmer, despearately attempting to escape the soldiers of Domus, is thrilling and wonderfully paced. I’m seeing something part Jeff Smith in the simplicity of the imagery, but also there’s something of a Moebius style here, nothing huge, but just interesting moments. Both are not bad things to be compared to at all.

As the issue goes on, we find out what’s happened to Armano to bring him to that desperate chase, meet new companions, such as the mysterious blue beaked Wexil, and, by the issue’s close, get to somewhere familiar to us from that cover, complete with the mysterious Gogor.

And that’s where it ends, but there’s enough, easily enough, in Gogor issue 1 to intrigue, to make me want to know the answers to just what’s going on in Gogor and to follow Armano’s quest. And I think it’s one you’ll be wanting to follow along with as well.

One last thing, something that really fascinated me as I was reading issue 1 of Gogor… scale.

Scale is an interesting thing in Gogor, and something I’m still not sure of quite yet. Yes, Armano rides his shrew, Mesmer, and the Domus soldiers ride ants. But, looking at the environment, the plant life, the water, it seems, from the images, that it’s the people of Altara and the soldiers of Domus who are normal sized, the animals that are giants. Why? No idea, not as yet. Similarly, a couple of the buildings seem deliberately unusual, especially given the more organic shapes everywhere else in the comic. First, there’s Armano’s school…

Then, Dolni’s Place, later in the issue…

Am I simply reading way too much into this? But, to me, both of those look artificial, look as though they’re artifacts from somewhere bigger, adapted by the smaller people of this world. No doubt time and subsequent issues will reveal more, but just the fact that I’m asking these sorts of questions gives you a good indication of the fact this was no throwaway story.

Gogor issue 1 is a fascinating thing, reminiscent to me, in many ways, of some of the great all-ages fantasy comics of the last few decades. There’s more questions asked than answered, but it all finishes with the desire to read more with issue 2. And that’s exactly what a good first issue should do.

Gogor Issue 1 is written, illustrated, colored and lettered by Ken Garing and is published by Image Comics. It’s available right now and is one I think you should be asking about at your local comic shop.

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