Forager: the Graphic Novel review

TITLE: Forager: The Graphic Novel
STORYTELLERS: written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, art by Steven Cummings
PUBLISHER; Jet City Comics


I liked the device where they introduced the daughter and family when the daughter was 6, spent a lot of time with them,  then skipped ahead 10 years. In a different story, you could probably use this to interesting effect to show social change between generations.


I noticed artist Steven Cummings kept mixing up the layouts when given six panel pages to draw.  This made the book more visually interesting than it could have been, though there’s only so much he could do when the script gave him pages and pages of characters sitting around talking about exposition.

Family sitting around talking from the comic Forager


I googled the history of this book.  The internet tells me “840 backers pledged $27,043″ but I think the comic was mostly made before the Kickstarter was done, so the Kickstarter didn’t fund the production.

The book was Kickstarted as an “All ages book” but I read the main theme as being about two parents worried about their daughter, and the book largely took the adult’s point of view, so it doesn’t seem like a book with a lot of kid appeal to me.  All ages to me means a story with themes that will appeal to kids and adults, not just “This story doesn’t happen to contain sex or violence”.

I was bored by this comic.  The characters are thin. There isn’t much conflict to speak of, we’re told some events are occurring on a cosmic scale, but it’s largely done through dialogue infodumps informing us of events off panel, and it never feels important.

I’m not in principle against an optimistic science fiction book without a lot of conflict.  But it would be best to approach it with some better character beats and more visual storytelling ideas.  (This story largely consisted of people standing around chatting, or at least felt like it did, with the dialogue scenes drowning everything else out).

As usual when I don’t like a book it’s not hard to find almost universal praise on the Internet:

“Both my kids and I loved it! The story is incredible, full of mystery, and excitement!” says some guy on Amazon.
“I would certainly recommend Forager to anyone over the age of 12. Launch yourself into the unknown with a copy of Forager!” writes a more easily entertained blogger.
Some of the review on Goodreads were more uneven.


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