- Paperback: 110 pages
- Publisher: Von Allan Studio (Oct. 12 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0978123743
- ISBN-13: 978-0978123741
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 0.6 x 24.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,136,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Stargazer Volume 2: An Original All-Ages Graphic Novel and Fantasy Comic Book about the Adventures of Three Lost Girls on a Far-Off World and Their Realization That, While Life Isn't a Fairytale, the Power of Friendship Is Truly Magical. Paperback – Jul 29 2011
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"Allan is an accomplished writer; he captures the essence of coming-of-age without ever blatantly slapping the reader across the face with it...at the end of the day STARGAZER was written for children and I can't recommend it enough for the most overlooked demographic out there. --Ain't It Cool News
Allan's latest effort, STARGAZER, explores similar themes but sees the writer/artist expanding his artistic palette to include strong elements of science fiction and fantasy-and succeeding wildly in his creation of an emotionally complex and touching imaginary realm. --Small Press Reviews
"Although Marni, Sophie and Elora are transported to an alien world, Allan's realistic portrayal of young, female protagonists captures fleeting moments of the human condition: fear and joy, loss and hope." --Montclair Times
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In this concluding chapter to Von's fantastical coming of age tale, the girls finally reach the towering structure, as well as meeting a group of new friends, but the mysteries only deepen. Elora is plagued by a very intense dream, and soon all the girls begin questioning the reality around them as they experience unearthly abilities along with a monster attacking repeatedly. Trapped inside the tower the girls find only skeletons and weird machines and more questions.
What I like most is the way Von's characters sound exactly like children, in a greatly realistic way. This is not dumbed down characterization, but rather stripped of popular culture the pure innocence is allowed to present itself more fully. These are not action heroes or super-powered adventurers, and they are not delved hipdeep in politics and theology. These are kids caught in a bizarre world, learning the definitions of their own still-forming identities through the crucible of experience. If only more authors of funny books could apply such thought to their creations.
Von's art is wonderful, black and white but full of powerful imagination. His storytelling and his expressive visual creations are boldly mature and self-confidant. His linework has somehow grown since his first graphic novel effort, with the nuances of his designs proclaiming even more overtly the personalities involved in his fiction. I just cannot imagine the man writing for another artist, or illustrating the story of another. His circle is already complete. The final atmosphere is so distinct you can almost sense the organic gesticulations of his characters, as though watching them on film.
Much fiction today can be readily dismissed as escapist fare, regardless of medium or content. This is at times, I feel, an incomplete description- especially when education is a factor. Equally, much family-friendly reading material can receive as labeling the derogatory relegation to a kind of shallowness. With Stargazer, Von Allan has skillfully shown that not only can all-ages material be sharp and thoughtful enough to appeal to wide ranges of age, but that such can even be accomplished through the utilization of archetypes almost Jungian in effect. Here the reader can find virginal examples of youthful friendship and awakening consciousness faced with fantasy elements as hard to cope with as the stark grimness of literal death. We see the monster, the larger on the inside tower, the alien sky, all suggestive as physical insinuations of the confounding nature of adolescence and puberty itself; and the addictive dizziness of "make-believe" that all persons experience before maturity but continue to experience as nocturnal dream throughout adulthood. This is a tale of children merely playing, on one hand, but also a tale of children finding in fantasy a thing as terrifying as anything the real world could ever manage to offer. In the metaphorical convergence of reality with childhood fantasy, the reader is shown in finite form a story where the threshold into the adult world is fully breached, with no turning back, even if the cost is the exchanging of realities for the promise of love. What an insightful message to see exampled in an all-ages, family-friendly comic book. But don't let that lofty attempt at a description bog down the potential reader. This is absolutely fun and original stuff, to be sure, and I promise you will be zealously frustrated at reaching the story's end. I am not keen on still doing reviews, but when something is this good, I cannot help myself.