‘Cogs and Claws:’ Graphic Novel Review

Here we go.  Another graphic novel.  This one is something – I remain conflicted as I put finger tips to keyboard.  I’ll give it a shot anyway, and we’ll see if this review makes any sense.

I just read Cogs and Claws – the latest and greatest by Jimmy Pearson (writer) and Brian Bennett (illustrator).  The Brian Bennett side of the fence is, without a doubt, impressive.  He pencils some of the most complex and ridiculously detailed images I’ve seen in some time.  Just sayin’.

But, I digress. Cogs and Claws is the Thieves World of graphic novels.  What I’m saying is you’ve got 3 stories set in a universe where the bad Rat people are more or less the plague of the Animaloid universe.  They kill everything and are not nice.  I mean really not nice.  Bad guys.  You get it.  So, what’s the Animaloid universe?  Easy, it’s Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger world without magic.  For those of you who haven’t read these masterpieces of childhood fantasy, basically all of the animals of Earth populate the Animaloid Universe – and they’re smart and talk and interact and stuff.

For those of you neophytes who haven’t imagined it, try it now.  Pretty cool, right?

Anyway, the stories follow a fish soldier (with some nicely creative, reasonable accommodations for our water breather), an Earth father/daughter/robot-teddy-bear trio who wandered into the universe, and a princess and her scoundrel dinosaur pirates . . . and their potential/kinetic interactions with the rat scourge of the universe.

First, this graphic novel has Star Wars references.  A lot of ‘em.  And, inspiration.  If you don’t notice this within 2 pages, you’re dumb.

Second, this graphic novel is fun – I mentioned the art is hardcore (It is.), but the imagination to put this place together is no slouch.  You put a little bit of elbow grease into your brain, and you’ll almost certainly be pondering, imagining, and day-dreaming of the Animaloid Universe in no time flat.

Third (and finally), this graphic novel is the right mix of ‘real’ adult comic stuff and bubble-gum.  So, it’s age appropriate for a 10 year old (although there is some death/violence, but it’s relatively simplistic and not gory), and age appropriate for a 22 year old.  Could be a nice thing to get your kid/nephew/whatever (Don’t be gross.) into a cool story.

My recommendation?  This is solid.  It’s creative, it’s fun, it’s got references that adults will get and a world kids will love.  So, check it out.

That’s all I got.

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