Tuesday, January 12, 2021

#IReadsYou Review: KORGI: The Cosmic Collector


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

CARTOONIST: Christian Slade
ISBN:  978-1-60309-010-0; paperback with French flaps (June 2008)
88pp, B&W interiors; full-color, double-spread cover; $10.00 U.S.

Korgi created by Ann and Christian Slade

Korgi (Book 2): The Cosmic Collector is a 2008 original graphic novel from writer-artist Christian Slade.  A paperback original with black and white interior art, The Cosmic Collector is the second in a series of five graphic novels.  The stories focus on two lead characters.  The first is Ivy, a young woman who his a “Mollie,” a woodland people who have fairy-like wings.  Then, there is Sprout, her “Korgi” (a kind of corgi) pup.  Their adventures take place in and around their home of “Korgi Hollow,” a village set in a faraway, pastoral land of woods, mountains, lakes, and cliffs.

The Korgi series is a pantomime or wordless comic, in which the story is told without word balloons, sound effects, caption boxes, or any other kind of text.  The Korgi series is ostensibly a children’s and young readers series, but it is also an “all-ages” comic that teenage and adult readers can also enjoy.  The fifth and final entry in the series, Korgi (Book 5): End of Seasons, is due in March 2021 (as of this writing).  Christian Slade is a comic book creator and former animator for the Walt Disney Company, where he worked on the 2003 animated feature film, Brother Bear.

Korgi (Book 2): The Cosmic Collector opens with a word or two from Wart, the scroll-keeper and historian of Korgi Hollow.  Next, one morning, Ivy and Sprout begin one of their usual jaunts through the forest near their home.  There, they discover fellow Mollie-Korgi duo, Art and Wanda, in a trap.  Soon, Ivy and Sprout discover that someone or something is clipping off the wings of Mollies.

Not long after their rescue mission, Ivy and Sprout encounter a peculiar creature, “Black 7,” and his maniacal companions, the “Bots.”  What is their connection to these grave assaults on the Mollies, and is Ivy at risk of losing her wings?

THE LOWDOWN:  I originally read Korgi (Book 1): Sprouting Wings thanks to a review “galley” copy I received from the book's publisher, Top Shelf Productions, back in 2007.  At the time, I never got around to reading the books that followed in the series, although I meant to do so.

I never forgot Korgi, and earlier this year, I turned to eBay and found someone selling the first two books in the series as a set.  Korgi (Book 2): The Cosmic Collector is like the first book in the series.  However, it mixes classic science fiction elements with the series' woodland fantasy milieu, and this results in another truly unique reading experience.  Also, the villains are quite interesting and mysterious, enough so that I remain curious about them even after reading The Curious Collector.

Christian Slade’s art still recalls the pen and ink book illustration of the first half of the 20th century.  The art is drawn entirely in pencil art, with Slade using cross-hatching and line work to add exacting detail to the drawings of characters and settings.  This gives Slade's art a sense of texture, a tactile sense for the eyes that blends well with the art's gentle, lamp-lit quality, which is also found in some of Walt Disney's animated films.  I think this Disney-esque style of the art and storytelling is perfect for a children’s illustrated book or comic book.  In fact, Korgi (Book 2): The Cosmic Collector is as much a picture book as it is an original graphic novel.

The series' stars, Ivy and Sprout, shine in Korgi (Book 2): The Cosmic Collector.  Ivy even shows a more plucky and determined side than she showed in the first book.  Slade's storytelling makes me think of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved children's fantasy novel, The Hobbit (1937), which I have read more times than I can remember.  However, The Curious Collector adds something new to the fantasy mix, which makes me curious about where this series is going.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Those looking for a young readers' comic book will find an excellent choice in Korgi (Book 2): The Cosmic Collector.

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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