Ken Garing’s new fantasy series Gogor, published by Image Comics, immediately grabs the reader’s attention with a tumultuously paced opening chase scene. It’s so immersive an experience that it leaves the audience feeling they’re as much an object of pursuit as Armano, the book’s protagonist. What Garing provides here is a quite glorious piece of visual storytelling that, via its constant changes in perspective, its cutaways and its frantic action, creates a breathtaking sense of not just movement and conflict but also of speed and interaction with environment. And it even incorporates the odd moment of rather joyous slapstick amidst the drama…
Central character Armano is a resident of the floating islands of Altara and when we meet this giant shrew-riding youngster he is fleeing the forces of the soldiers of Domus and their monster dung beetle steeds. He’s on a vital heroic quest. But with his pursuers closing in can he find a way to awaken the legendary giant Gogor and save his people from the Domus forces?
Gogor is a near perfectly structured opening issue with perhaps only the shoehorning in of a large supporting cast in the second half of this 28-pager feeling a little awkward in delivery. It immediately sets up premise, effectively uses flashbacks to incrementally introduce us to the foundations of the series, and presents just enough hints and teasers to the nature of the story’s setting to completely hook its audience. This is comics world-building at its carefully crafted best.
Garing’s energetic cartooning is engaging throughout, with Gogor being a testament to the power of the double-page spread. At a time when demands for their hurried demise from those bizarrely championing the limitations of digital delivery threaten to prevail it’s refreshing to see this tactile reading tool used to such rich and vital effect. Gogor has the potential to be the serial comics sleeper hit of the year. Make sure to get in at the very beginning of this visual feast of comics fantasy.
Ken Garing (W/A/C/L) • Image Comics, $3.99
Review by Andy Oliver