Review - Gogor #1 (@ImageComics)

"We can make it!"

There's an inherent curiosity in exploring a new world. That curiosity is amplified when that world is set atop islands floating in the clouds as in Gogor #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written and illustrated by Ken Garing.

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.

Garing doesn't waste any time in setting things up as he jumps right in with the protagonist Armano on the run from what appear to be some form of law enforcement. It's a very adventurous way to start the issue, but Garing does slow things down a bit as he explains the impetus behind Armano's fugitive status and the series as a whole. Garing sets this all against an extremely intriguing, high-fantasy backdrop of a series of islands floating in the sky and a mysterious creature named Gogor resting under one of them. Everything comes together quite elegantly as Garing relies on smart dialogue to fill the reader in on what's happening without holding their hand. This is a great approach as part of the allure of high-fantasy settings is discovering things along with the characters themselves.

Lightening things up a bit is Garing's illustrative style which feels light and airy. The linework is very clean, portraying the world of Altara as one rife with lush islands rich in foliage and greenery. What's especially impressive is the sense of scale Garing relies on for the issue, in that there are instances where things that are traditionally small are given significant scale. It's not entirely clear if the ants and animals being illustrated are normal size or gigantic, but regardless Garing makes it work exceptionally well. Garing also relies on very basic, primary colors to make the book feel more inviting.

Gogor #1 is a pretty fun book that jumps right into the thick of things in the world of Altara. Armano is quickly being brought into the middle of something that's clearly a lot bigger than him even if he doesn't realize it yet. Garing does an incredible job of crafting a high-fantasy world (with an emphasis on "high") that feels engaging and intricate. Garing's illustrations are very illustrative of the world comprised of floating islands and Gogor in particular feels gargantuan. Gogor #1 relies on many elements to be a strong first issue in a new world to explore.

Gogor #1 is available May 1.