The Griff: A Graphic Novel
by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson, with Jennyson Rosero
Cover Artist: Jennyson Rosero
Review by Gayle Surrette
William Morrow Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061977527
Date: 19 July 2011 List Price $22.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
I'm a sucker for anything by Christopher Moore -- the world really, really needs more writers who can do a rollicking good adventure packed with humor and often some interesting observations on the human condition. So, when The Griff came in, I flipped through it and the art was beautifully done -- colorful with a lot of movement and characterization. Reading the story, I was drawn in and kept there.
The Griff, at its heart, is an alien invasion story. The aliens came in ships and released pods that, once they hit the atmosphere, released creatures that looked like griffins that seemed to have one purpose: kill anything that moved. Earth tried to fight back but there was nothing that could be done -- the high-tech weaponry just couldn't lock onto the enemy's cold bodies.
I'm going to just give the premise, and the story really takes place after the worst of the slaughter. There's two groups of people -- one in Orlando, Florida and the other in New York City. The story follows Mo, a game designer, and Steve, a skateboarder, and Curt, a commando wanna-be and tells the story of how each of them survived and a bit of backstory. In Orlando the story revolves around Liz, who trains whales at Ocean City, and Oscar, who wears a squirrel costume. None of these are your typical hero-type. They just survived and they're hoping to keep it that way.
Liz takes to investigating the enemy griffins. Oscar complains about everything. In New York, our characters decide to head south. The two story lines are intersperse as they each learn different things as they deal with day to day survival. Are these people Earth's last best hope? Well, you've got to work with what you got and they don't give up but they have fun along the way.
Remember, this is an alien invasion story, and not everything is sweetness and light, and humans aren't going to triumph just because they always do. It's not a sure thing. There's fighting and danger and no one is assured of making it to the last page.
The artwork is superb. Lovely colors, and the characters are all distinct enough that there's no confusion as to who you're reading about. Then, best of all for me, I could read the speech bubbles. There's been a few graphic novels in the past year or so that I just couldn't read without my glasses and a magnifier because the font was so small. This book is very easy on the eyes with the text and artwork working seamlessly to tell the story.