Cartoonist: Michelle Gish
WHAT IS IT?
An adorable apocalyptic comedy about the intergalactic and earthbound adventures of a purple, pillowy alien species known as Puramus. It's based on Gish's webcomic of the same name.
With its cute, Pusheen-esque aesthetic and droll sense of humor, this whimsical satire rings of Adventure Time and the Moomin comics.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The saga of the Puramus unfolds in four parts, each separated from the others by hundreds of years and comprised of several short chapters. The main characters change from part to part, and the Puramus as a species evolve too. They evolve both biologically, sprouting horns at some point, and socially, growing from a loose collection of individuals into tribes with leaders into a robust community with a schooling system. Heck, they even make art.
Don't let the veneer of sophistication persuade you that the Puramus are anything other than brutal, impulsive, and egocentric plushies. You know, like us humans, endearing destroyers of worlds that we are.
Gish's lovable Puramus are the main attraction, with their blend of capriciousness, sense of adventure, and overall simplicity striking a harmony of opposites that makes basic actions like eating a flower or digging with a spoon become a punchline.
Gish has created well crafted cutie pies who mostly speak in monosyllables and don't get hung up on boring things like death. They're extremely entertaining.
The Puramus interact with the post-human world providing social commentary in a lighthearted way; for instance, their fascination with human junk as quest-worthy things of legend pokes fun at the value we so casually assign to material objects.
The coloring is flat, friendly, and consistent, using a single palette for most of the book, which mirrors the Puramus' own simplicity.
Both Gish's letters and bubbles appear hand-drawn, with varying line weights, slightly irregular shapes, and non-identical letters. This curated chaos contrasts with the trim, tidy frames that are used, which underscores the Puramus' organic playfulness.
The sound effects appear hand-drawn and complement Gish's cartoonish style.
With no cursing or violence, this comic is appropriate for all ages.
Although the stories here connect with Gish's webcomic, it is a stand-alone title that can be enjoyed on its own.
For fans of the webcomic, this is new content.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
If the humor doesn't click with you, you probably won't enjoy the book.
There are still gaps in the Puramus saga, which could leave some readers feeling frustrated — although it will probably leave most readers wanting more.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It'll put chuckles in your belly, while providing deft social commentary at the same time.
The Puramus distill and exemplify some of our most human aspects - for instance, they are ambitious, creative, impulsive, idly destructive, and rational - which provides Gish with a vehicle for social commentary. However, because of the Puramus' all-around cuteness, it can feel like light reading even when it's at its darkest.
Read this book if you're craving a tonic to all the seriousness that can pile up in life, or if you need a reminder of what really matters (hint: it's a skeleton. You'll get it when you read it).
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Manfried Saves the Day by Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow
Catstronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
If you like the art:
Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes & Selina Espiritu
By Night by John Allison and Christine Larsen
Jonesy by Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Michelle Gish — Cartoonist
Multitalented: Gish did it all for We Are Here Forever: wrote it, drew it, colored it, and lettered it
New Face: Gish has been publishing her webcomic since 2016, but this is her first book
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
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 Michelle Gish’s characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Michelle Gish’s or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED