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Allan, Von – Stargazer Volume 2


Stargazer Volume Two

You know, I don’t think I asked for the last review, but why Stargazer? The title, I mean, not the comic as a abstract concept. It sure doesn’t seem like stars play too big of a role in this, unless it’s just meant to imply that they’re dreamers. That one makes sense, so I’ll go with that. If you missed the first volume this review won’t make a bit of sense, so go read that and come back. Or go read about other comics if you can’t be bothered, as I’m not the boss of you, but you really should read it if you like comics. In this volume they reach that tower from the last issue and explore it a bit. They also encounter another race (that also doesn’t talk, just like the robot didn’t talk), and we get to see what the monster looks like. One member of the group splits off and heads back to the tent, where she discovers how they got there in the first place. We also get explanations for several of the oddities that are scattered around, even if we never do quite get a full explanation of just what these kids were dealing with this whole time. This is the part where I have trouble, because I want to get into the ending a bit. Many reviewers wouldn’t bat an eye at spoiling such a thing, but look away if you don’t want to see it. I’ll still be vague (it’s wired into my brain not to spoil things, so I can barely even do it when I try), but something might slip out. I had mentioned in the last review that I hoped that Von got the chance to make this into a saga, but he mentioned in his letter with the comic that it was always his intention to make this a complete story in two volumes. He does hope to do more with this universe, but with comics realities being what they are he’s not optimistic. Anyway, this story does wrap up, and it’s almost certainly not in the fashion that you’d probably expect. My concern: how does the doodad work at the end if they’re not all using it? Granted, it’s a magic doodad, and such concerns can be explained in magical ways, but it still struck me as confusing after it was all over. Anyway, like I said, that ending took the whole story in an unexpected direction and it felt completely earned, so what more can you ask for from a 200ish page story? I hope he does get back to this world, as I still have lingering questions, but even if he doesn’t he’s managed to put together an impressive story. $15

Allan, Von – Stargazer Volume 1


Stargazer Volume 1

Anybody who reads this site with any kind of regularity knows my stance on spoilers (short version: I hates ’em), but I have to point that that little hairy man from the cover isn’t in this volume. Well, there are some shadowy figures, so I guess it’s possible that he’s in this volume, but it sure doesn’t look like it. Hm. Anyway, this book deals with a young girl who is very distraught about the recent death of her grandmother. The early moments of the book are all about this and the family dynamic that comes from it, but don’t worry, that title comes into effect before too long. Marni (the main character) eventually has a sleepover with friends, they end up camping in the backyard and eat too much pizza… then things get weird. Marni has inherited an odd artifact from her grandma, and they’re all poking around at it when something flashes and they find themselves in a strange land. Oh, and the artifact is gone. The rest of the book is essentially them trying to get acclimated to this new place, as they find an old statue, a tiny robot guy, a boat and a few other things I probably shouldn’t get into. To top it all off Von has decided to put his notes in the back, so we get to see his thought process for how this would all eventually play out. He did take out the spoilers for future volumes, but I still skipped over most of it because I don’t want anything ruined and I’m a big enough dork to go back and read those notes after the series is finished anyway. I liked it overall, as it has a ton of potential, but this is still very much the early days of this saga. Well, I’m hopeful that it ends up being a saga, but you never know with comic finances the way they are. One quibble is that the characters had a tendency to stutter to convey seemingly any emotion, as the mourners at the funeral were all about stuttering, then the kids were all about it whenever they ran into anything odd in the new world. That can be conveyed just as easily by a facial expression, says the guy who couldn’t draw a realistic person if his life depended on it. Like a said, a mere quibble, and it should in no way be meant to indicate a lack of overall quality. The art is amazing (although I’m thinking future volumes will give Von more of a chance to flex his artistic muscles), the writing was excellent overall and I can’t wait to see what happens next, so that sure sounds like a success to me. $14.95