• Matt Ligeti

GRYFFEN, ISSUES #1-2

Updated: Jun 27, 2019


Writer: Ben Kahn Art: Bruno Hidalgo Publisher: SBI Press


Gryffen, issue #1, cover, SBI Press, Kahn/Hidalgo

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?

(Minor Spoilers)

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?


WHAT WORKS?

  • 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


Gryffen, issue #1, page 3, SBI Press, Kahn/Hidalgo

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:

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!

The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All SBI Press characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright SBI Press or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

#SBIPress #Hidalgo #Kahn #Cipriano #Penafiel #LGBTQIA #Comedy #SciFi #Rebellion #Outlander #DreamTeam #Multitalented

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©2018 by Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti.