Other than reading a few graphic novels for my book review blog, I am not connected to the comic book/graphic novel community. I don’t read up on what authors and artists are working on and I definitely don’t hear any advance praise or advance criticism. What that means is that when I request an Advance Reading Copy of a graphic novel, I know nothing about it, but usually the art or the description of the story catches my interest.
As I delved into Elsewhere, a graphic novel written by Jay Faerber and drawn by Sumeyye Kesgin, I smiled. A genuine, “I’m really enjoying this” smile.
We open with two individuals making a daring escape from a medieval-looking castle belonging to Lord Kragan. It takes a moment, but when we actually see these individuals – who happen to be chained together – we see that this isn’t Earth. Though humanoid, the escaping creatures have a more animalistic appearance to them. Not quite a primate like a gorilla, but something definitely foreign. And those chasing the escapees are different still and look to be more of the ‘orc’ family of creatures.
Yet despite the brutish appearance of the escapees and the fleeing and the chase, the dialog between the two escapees borders on goofy and we don’t take any of this too seriously. And despite the imminent threat of capture or death, the two ‘men’ stop when they hear feminine cries for help. What they find is quite unexpected – Amelia Earhart is stuck by her parachute in a tree.
Human and alien seem startled by one another’s appearance but get over it quickly and Amelia is focused only on finding her navigator, Fred Noonan, who parachuted just before she did. She does meet up with another human, but it’s D.B. Cooper, and we quickly get the picture that people who have leaped out of planes have been transported somehow to this strange place.
Despite her sudden shock at arriving in a strange world, and learning that time as well as place flow differently, Amelia keeps a cool head and takes charge and leads a rebellion against Lord Kragan, which works quite well, thanks to their finding a German submarine, well-stocked with firearms!
This has a real pulp feel to it. Think Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H. Rider Haggard. It’s campy fantasy with an adventure, sci-fi twist. And it’s fun.
It’s made lovable by the stylistic art, which is bold and clean, by Kesgin, well colored by Ron Riley.
You can’t take this too seriously, but for a fun diversion, especially for those of us who still love the Burroughs/Howard/Haggard stories, it hits just the right spot. This book collects the first four issues of the comic and I look forward to the next collection.
Looking for a good book? Elsewhere is a graphic novel by Jay Faerber and Sumeyye Kesgin that captures the spirit of the old adventure fantasy pulps, with some stylish new art and is a fun read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Elsewhere Volume 1
author: Jay Faerber
artist: Sumeyye Kesgin
publisher: Image Comics
paperback, 116 pages