A couple of years ago, a comic fell into my lap from an independent studio that was, up until that time, nowhere near my radar. And then I met Farlaine.
Published by Studio Farlaine, Farlaine The Goblin is a series that can (and should) be read by anybody, regardless of what issue is your first. Each comic is a standalone story that follows a goblin tree shaman by the name of Farlaine (pronounced Far-lin) and his companions, a robot named Tink and Farlaines’ friend Ehrenwort the tree as they travel the lands looking for a forest to call home for Ehrenwort. After years of searching, there is only a few lands left in order to find a forest within which to plant Ehrenwort. The brilliance of this premise lays in its innocent simplicity; even though Farlain The Goblin #5 isn’t the first part of this story, it can still be read and enjoyed regardless of whether you’re steeped in the series history, or if you just want to check out something new and different.
The comic clocks in at just under fifty pages, and is as effortlessly charming as the goblin himself, with Pug Grumble’s joyous delivery and willingness to explore concepts that are wonders of the imagination; this book reminds of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in that some of the ideas within this world shouldn’t make a lick of sense, but under Grumble’s masterful hand not only do they (still not really) make sense, but you don’t want to worry too hard about how they’d work. There’s a sense of innocent wonder here, with the author’s willingness to embrace the magical fantasy worlds created in his mind without over explaining irrelevant things like time and space the reader is free to just let their mind wander through this glorious black and white masterpiece.
The challenge with any black and white art is to convey the detail, texture and shade through only two colours – and that’s especially true with a book that has such a vividly imaginative story. Thankfully, the art is incredible. The way Grumble is able to make the subtlest of changes in the way the little goblin’s eyebrows are drawn to give him an entirely different emotional response is always a joy to see. Yeah, I love this series. It’s always such a pleasure to read.
If you do want to start the series from the begining, or you’re not sure this wonderful comic is for you, then there is a free pdf of the first issue available at Farlaine‘s website, here. Once you’ve read that, you can also order the previous issues online, here.
Farlaine The Goblin #5 is another brilliant chapter in the goblin’s journey to find a home, and it’s one that you really need to check out. There is no reason for you not to be reading this. This issue is available now, with the sixth on the way soon
Story: Pug Grumble Art: Pug Grumble
Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Studio Farlaine provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.