Gogor #2, Created, written, drawn, colored, lettered by Ken Garing
Ken Garing does plenty of world-building in issue two of Gogor, but does it come at the expense of keeping the readers engaged?
The main protagonist, Armano, is joined by the quite powerful Gogor, who makes quick work of the opposing Domus. The action is quick and frenetic with extremely colorful flourishes. Armano and Gogor soon meet up with Armano's other companions. A decision must be made, go back to Academea to save those in trouble venture to Bogwell Major, an island beckoning to Gogor. Ultimately Armano relents and they make their way to Bowell Major.
Here they meet the creatures of the bog. Meanwhile the Domus are regrouping under the leadership of Lord Magus, fierce with a fiery beard to match, who loudly proclaims that his number one assassin, Amphax, will succeed where the ill-fated soldiers have failed.
Eventually Armano and Gogor meet up with a sorceress, Tetra Hedron, who hints at Armano's role in this epic tale. There's a bit of an homage to Wizard of Oz that lands nicely.
Garing crams in quite a bit of exposition and lore into Gogor issue two, the implied payoff should come in issue three, but it's fair to ask if readers will stay on beyond this issue. Garing even steadies his expectations in the letters column at the back of the issue. Everything about this issue feels like a set up to something much grander and hopefully more engaging. There's also some thinly veiled social commentary on processed foods, which is interesting. It serves the narrative, but at the same time it feels a tad heavy-handed. Lost in the exposition is the whimsy and free nature of issue one. Instead many panels are used as quick looks into greetings/departures of characters we hardly know. It's a curious choice, and hopefully Garing moves away from the less essential, between the panel conversation and activities.
The coloring throughout the book remains a high point. The blending of the humanoid characters along with the organic, lushly detailed backgrounds, and environments is truly a splendor to behold. Unfortunately, the creative demands that Garing undertakes in Gogor might begin to show here. The art is inconsistent, and while never distracting, it seems to have a lost a bit of its edge and charm in issue two.
Gogor has great potential. It's a shame that through Tetra Hedron, Garing chooses to simply hint at what's to come. Issue two might ultimately be the connecting bridge in this story, but as-is, issue two feels too transitional at times. Trying to maintain readership is the quintessential goal of any writer. Garing takes a risk, offering readers the gamble of what's to come at the expense of present story. As Gogor, the creature trudges along, can the story afford to keep the same pace?