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Comic Review: Forager
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Forager cover by Darwin CookeForager
Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Illustrated by Steven Cummings
Colored by Challenging Studios
Lettered by Bill Tortolini
Cover by Darwin Cooke
PaperFilms
Release Date: January 2014
Cover Price: $6.99 (Digital)

Humans are a curious species. We continually look to the stars and wonder what else might be out there. In Forager, a broken family not only ponders this concept, but is thrust into a situation that forces them to discover the answer. From Jimmy Palmiotti‘s production company, PaperFilms, comes an extraordinary graphic novel that delves into the heart of human nature and our longing for change and knowledge.

When a young, troubled married couple take their six year-old daughter, Ellie, on an outer-space cruise ship in hopes of working on their relationship as a family, Ellie begins to hear peculiar “singing” within her head. As a massive alien spacecraft — the first new race that humanity has ever encountered — hovers above the cruise ship, all on board soon realize that Ellie has become the vessel for the aliens to speak through. The events that proceed span almost a millennium as a handpicked crew of Earth’s finest travel galaxies in search of a viable new habitat.

There are a couple of reasons as to why Forager works as an entertaining and thought-provoking story. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti take various science fiction elements — first contact with an alien race, a dying planet, and space travel — fuse them together, and create something special: a universe filled with opportunity and new beginnings. Gray and Palmiotti also provide a wonderful juxtaposition between a failing marriage and a dying earth and desire for renewal and recovery.

Steven Cummings‘ artwork blends beautifully with the scope of the tale. His panels offer solid perspective and varying angles, while his characters are distinctly drawn and their facial expressions perfectly display individual personality and emotion. The colors used by Challenging Studios, are vivid and bright, encapsulating the story’s very sense of wonderment as well as the essence of life amidst emotional and physical suffering.

Forager is not the most original idea, but its concepts are refreshing, presented in a unique fashion, and delivered with care. While there is some material in the book that might be a bit heavy or questionable for younger readers, I would certainly recommend Forager to anyone over the age of 12. Launch yourself into the unknown with a copy of Forager!

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