Suspended Animation

Michael Vance - Mark Allen
Michael Vance Books

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      Sometimes, you have to step out, break away from the norm, and experience something totally different.

      This statement applies to comic readers as much as anyone else. Trying new genres, offerings from small press companies, or just delving into something you have never had contact with before will, at the least, give you a greater appreciation for the diversity of the medium; at the most, it may help you discover your next favorite comic creation. That's what happened to me when I picked up a book called Gon.

      Already well known in Japan, Gon, a one-foot-tall tyrannosaur, is the creation of Masashi Tanaka.

      Turning up in story settings such as the Australian outback, the Savanna, the South American Amazon River, and the wilds of Siberia, Gon experiences all kinds of adventures with the indigenous wildlife of those regions. The diminutive dinosaur also finds himself in more than one role. From watchful protector of orphan wolf cubs against a Siberian tiger, to hungry antagonist, mercilessly thrashing a North American grizzly for his stash of sockeye salmon, Gon's exploits drive home one very important point; this is NOT  a "funny animal" book.

      A true artist, Tanaka's animal creations display such incredible expression, that stories are clearly told, and messages meaningfully conveyed without the use of any dialogue. His amazing line work, used to create breathtakingly natural scenery and realistically portrayed wildlife, quickly inform the reader that this man is more than just a "comic artist."  Yet, all of this incredibly beautiful wildlife and fauna seems not at all out of place when wrapped around a cartoon-like dinosaur.

      Eight books have been distributed to date: Gon, Gon Again, Here Today, Gon Tomorrow, Going, Going, Gon, Gon Swimmin', Gon on Safari, Gon Underground, and Gon Color Spectacular.

      Some comic dealers will have these books on their racks, or would be glad to order them. To find the comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook. Highly recommended for all readers.

      Gon, published by Paradox Press, page count and prices vary.

      Review by Mark Allen


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