Indie Comic Book Review – Grief

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“… and I’ll NEVER let you go.” Mya

It’s time for another indie review. This week its Grief by Frank Gogol. Grief is a collection of short issue comics, each of which deals with a degree of heavy content, from mental health to drug abuse and the challenges of parenthood. This series is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Frank Gogol
  • Artists:
    • Nenad Cviticanin,
    • Bethany Vani
    • Ryan Foust
    • Jey Soliva
    • Kim Holm
  • Colourists:
    • Esther Gil-Munilla
    • Luca Bulgheroni
    • Nenad Cviticanin
    • Bethany Vani
    • Emily Elmer
  • Letterer – Sean Rinehart
  • Cover Artist – Dani Martins
  • Editors:
    • Marc Sumerak
    • Andy Schmidt
    • Molly Lazer

As you can see, a lot of people worked on this comic, and I’ll be honest – when I opened it and saw it was 84 pages long my first instinct was to only read the first chapter or two and review them only. The next thing I knew I was hooked and finished the whole thing. The stories all follow a similar format – they’re a few pages long, and gradually build up with a character’s internal monologue towards a twist in the final panels. These range from heart-warming, to shocking and disturbing. Gogol demonstrates great versatility moving around a range of genres, from the fantastical to the very down to earth and very real, producing a wide range of emotions in a short number of pages.

It also helps that the first character monologue references the Greek Legend of Troy, and I love stuff like that.

The art changes to match the story being told. The different artists offer a wide range of styles which each complement story. Two that stood out were Bulgheroni producing a dark atmosphere with a pallet full of strong earthy colours to match the darker tones of The Debt, Cviticanin’s strong bright style adds impact to twists. Across the board the art is of a very high quality, getting the colouring right in indie comics makes all the difference, and the team has done so. Rinehart’s work on the lettering also should not be overlooked. The font, colouring and placing of speech bubbles is constantly great throughout the whole volume.

Also, there’s something I couldn’t help but notice throughout – Superheroes. They’re not in every story, but some of them involve superheroes and in some of them superhero toys are present. There’s always a running theme with them – hope. Even when they break, with enough love and enough work they’re repaired and can lead to better things. I’m not sure if this was a deliberate choice by Gogol, but intentional or not it’s a theme I couldn’t help but pick up on.

As with all comics though, I will ask, can the art team draw hands? You’ll probably already know I’m going to say yes. The art throughout this comic has been of a very impressive standard and there weren’t any pages where the way the hands were drawn either looked out of place considering the context or the art style. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I was very impressed with this comic. As I said, I went in planning to check out the first two stories and found myself finishing them all and wanting more. This is the sort of indie comic very much worth supporting, which you can do through their Kickstarter campaign here.

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