Gogor is a high fantasy adventure that feels like a mix of a Studio Ghibli film (particularly Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke) and the character design and feel of a Jim Henson film. Armano, a young scholar-to-be, is on the run from the Domus, a high-tech military force, after the group storms and tears apart his university in search of a single scroll. The head of the university, pursued by the Domus, hands Armano the scroll, imploring him to keep it safe and bring it to a specific location. Overwhelmed and stuck with the mysterious scroll, Armano sets out to fulfill his headmaster’s final, perhaps, request.
Gogor starts with a bang, as Armano flees from the Domus on the back of Mesmer, his flying shrew. The Domus pursue on the backs of giant ants, weapons at the ready. Even after this first issue, it is not clear whether the animals are abnormally large or the people are inches tall. That quality is what makes this issue so engaging; questions are raised, but answers are withheld for the time being. A gorgeous double-page spread reveals the comic’s world: dozens of land masses floating in the sky in a concentric circle. How big is each island? What, if anything, lies beneath the sky? References are made to other islands and their inhabitants, but this first issue takes place on only a few land masses. Partway through his journey, Armano is joined by Wexil, a hooded, reptilian creature who would not look out of place in The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. The creature is knowledgeable and helpful, but his motivations are unknown.
Gogor is the work of Ken Garing (Planetoid), who writes, illustrates, colors, and letters the comic. It is impressive reading a comic from a sole creator whose unfiltered creative vision spills onto the page. In the back of the issue, he explains that the comic will run for at least ten issues, possibly more if there is enough demand. The artwork resembles that of a cartoon, with plenty of bright, bold colors. The environments and clothing remind me of an early Studio Ghibli film and the early pages of Armano on shrew-back conjure images of Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke.
Like the prince from the Studio Ghibli film, Armano has a quest before him filled with danger, adventure, and mystery. Though some of the plot points may be familiar to fans of high fantasy, the world building, artwork, and potential make it an engaging read. Who, or what, is Gogor and where will Armano’s journey take him? I look forward to the next issue, dropping on June 12, to find out.