Christopher Moore, Ian Corson, and Jennyson Rosero’s The Griff

The Griff, scripted by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson, and drawn by Jennyson Rosero, is a story of the Apocalypse, told while said Apocalypse is happening. It was developed, we are told, from the script for a film — Corson is a film director — that Moore and Corson realized was never going to be made. And here it turned out to be ideal for a comic.

They came from Outer Space — in response to a beacon unwittingly set off by a salvage crew. “They” in this case is a ship — ore maybe more than one — carrying hordes of giant flying reptiles — very carnivorous, well-armored reptiles. Within twelve hours, they’ve taken out the world’s militaries, police, and communications. Then it’s snack time.

There are survivors, of course: Steve and Mo, who wind up occupying the same sewer pipe in New York, soon joined by Curt, who managed to avail himself of a Stinger missile, which seems to work just fine on hungry griffons — as they are named by a newsman who, shortly thereafte, became lunch. And in Orlando, there are Liz, senior whale trainer at Ocean World, and Oscar — along with Shamu the Killer Whale, assorted porpoises, and the usual denizens of large-scale aquariums. The northern contingent decides to head to Florida to join up with whoever it was who managed to take out the ship — which someone did, in quite spectacular fashion. The journey is, as they say, fraught, but eventually — inevitably — they meet up with Liz. And then the Resistance begins.

This one is pure, unadulterated action/adventure escapism, graced by a tight, sharp, snappy script and vivid, definite graphics. Moore is known as a writer of comic novels, and while I can’t call this one comedy, it’s certainly light-hearted enough — we’re not burdened with a lot of existential angst here, probably because no one has time. Dialogue has enough of an edge to keep it lively, and the action is fast. Rosero’s drawing is right on target, clear, clean and expressive, and the layouts, while mostly frame-follows-frame standard, are loose enough to keep the action moving and add a dimension to the story.

OK — this one is just fun, which is a quality that seems to be missing from a lot of comics lately. I’m hoping for more.

(William Morrow, 2011)

About Robert Tilendis

Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there.

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