Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Writer: Ben Kahn Art: Bruno Hidalgo Publisher: SBI Press
WHAT IS IT?
A chaotic-neutral intergalactic romp that looks like it may evolve into a rebellion story.
It's like if Rick & Morty did a Star Wars spin-off.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Once a renowned captain for the "Sovereign Reach," Lyla Gryffen disappeared at the edge of the galaxy, then reappeared 6 months later.
The brilliant Gryffen, who seems to be gender non-conforming/non-binary/genderqueer (and uses the pronoun "they"), now hates the Sovereign Reach and seems to have new knowledge of the subtle ways they've limited the growth of their people.
With the help of their friends, Gryffen must escape and take the first steps toward rebellion.
But can Gryffen trust their new team to have their back?
Captain Lyla Gryffen is a delight of a character to watch – brilliant and hilarious, and exciting as hell to have a main character who is "genderqueer" (in writer Ben Kahn's words) in a comic
Ben Kahn's characterizations are unique from one another, each having their own personality and motivations
Gryffen is hilariously written, yet well-balanced; the pace of the book doesn't suffer for the sake of humor or characterization
There's an almost punk rock aesthetic in the book's tone, enhanced by Bruno Hidalgo's unique style
Hidalgo's line art and color, with assistance from James Penafiel, is clean, yet detailed, intentionally chaotic, making for a vibrant visual adventure
The characters' body language also changes from character to character – for some, it's large and dramatic, while others are reserved, showing how simpatico Kahn & Hidalgo are creatively
Sal Cipriano's word balloons look hand-drawn, and his font choice is easily readable but has a slight organic feel to it, all of which works very well with Hidalgo's art and the tone of the comic
Other fonts for Gryffen are fun and futuristic, yet clean, playing up the sci-fi elements while Hidalgo's sound effects are hand-drawn, stylized and incorporated dynamically into the art
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Cursing and comical-yet-visceral violence means it might not be the best read for kids
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Gryffen is a hell of a ride, a humorous and action-packed adventure that feels like it could be its own Adult Swim TV show.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Heavenly Blues by Ben Kahn & Bruno Hidalgo
Wasted Space, Vol. 1 by Michael Moreci & Hayden Sherman
Void Trip by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus
If you like the art:
Shaman, Vol. 1 by Ben Kahn & Bruno Hidalgo
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1 by Gerard Way & Gabriel Bá
Black Hammer, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire & Dean Ormston
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Ben Kahn – Writer
Has also written for video games and webcomics
Dream Team: Also worked with Bruno Hidalgo on the comics, Shaman & Heavenly Blues
Seems to enjoy the balance between humor and heartbreak
Bruno Hidalgo – Art & Colors
Had color assistance on this title from James Penafiel
Outlander: Hails from Barcelona, Spain
As of July 2017, he had never met Ben Kahn (not sure if they've met since then!)
Sal Cipriano – Letterer
Multitalented: Is also a designer and illustrator, and reviews action figures on YouTube
Most of his work has been for DC Comics
Big fan of wrestling
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Gryffen's first 11 pages comes out in SBI's free comic book day issue, and then the series will run on ComiXology. Keep an eye out for it!
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