Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Writer: Bob Salley Art: Shawn Daley Publisher: Source Point Press
WHAT IS IT?
A touching, 3-issue fantasy tale about the things that break us apart and those that bring us together.
It feels like a lot of medieval fantasy RPGs (or "Role Playing Games," a genre of video game), especially in the beginning.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An ogre is chained to a corpse and kept in a jail cell buried in a castle's dungeon.
An army is right outside, about to invade the castle he and his fellow prisoners are in. As one of the last of his kind, he must decide whether to give up or to join this ragtag band of human prisoners and attempt to survive, even though so many of his people have ben wiped out by humans in the past.
Meanwhile, the spirit of the dead man is speaking to the ogre, unsure of why he can't move on.
What will put this dead man's soul to rest? Can this ogre befriend the same race of people who killed his own people? And can he survive, fleeing from this war he wants no part of, as well as the goblins, soldiers and other monsters intent on killing or capturing him?
OGRE is a touching and nuanced story that fits so much into only three issues
Bob Salley fills the story with so much internal and external conflict, but so much of it takes place without words or action, or between the panels
Similarly, Daley's ability to capture the the depth of emotion and the conflict and complicated, nuanced events in characters' faces and body language is nothing short of remarkable
His watercolor in OGRE is beautiful, at times, both visceral and ethereal
Check out the example below: He's able to keep the watercolor tight inside the castle but loose in the sky for this feeling of a heavy, hot and humid day
OGRE shows the brutality of war in a very real way without ever showing a single epic battle
Salley also chooses not to focus on that as his only message
The ogre's plight can also spark a discussion on race
I also liked the swords-to-plowshares/strange bedfellows aspect of how war or general necessity can bring people together (or, you know, handcuff them to you)
The argument throughout about what changes us and what doesn't, or whether our soul can change at all, is a big underlying theme that fits really well with the story
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
I personally didn't want the story to end, but it is nice for those who don't want to commit to another long series
This story can sit really heavy, so if you don't want to feel down right now, you might want to read this book when you're in the mood for something with that kind of depth
I don't think we got names for all of the ogre's companions or, if we did, it was almost mentioned more in passing maybe once
It was hard to know (until later, of course) if we should trust them or invest in them emotionally, expecting they'd die or turn traitor any minute
Maybe that does work to the story's advantage, though, since that's probably how the ogre felt
Dialogue is pretty heavy, which can slow scenes down
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
OGRE is a sad, beautiful, brutal and nuanced story about unexpected connections and our search for peace. I highly recommend it for fantasy lovers in search for a shorter story that doesn't sacrifice depth.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Salvagers by Bob Salley & George Acevedo
Drift by Edward Haynes & Martyn Lorbiecki
Lady Castle by Delilah S. Dawson & Ashley A. Woods
If you like the art:
TerraQuill by Shawn Daley
Ascender by Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen
Dept. H, Vol. 1 by Matt Kindt
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Bob Salley – Writer
Multitalented: Also an editor at Source Point Press
His comic, Salvagers, is meant to branch out into multiple different stories and titles, as well as board games and other media
Shawn Daley – Art & Letters
Multitalented: Does the art & letters for this comic, which is uncommon for someone to be talented in both
Outlander: Lives in Toronto
Covers Bad Religion & NOFX songs with an 8bit/chiptune sound
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Issue #3 will drop around Christmas 2018. Issue #1 is sold out, but you'll be able to read the collected trade of all 3 issues early next year!
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