Stargazer Volume 1by Von Allan
Marni is a young girl dealing with the recent death of her grandmother, which has left her emotionally devastated and struggling to cope. Granny Hitchins was a wonderfully curious woman, responsible for giving her granddaughter a rich sense of imagination and adventure, as well as an old and mysterious "Artifact." Granny Hitchins found the Artifact when she was herself a child and, with origins unknown, it provided a lifetime of adventure, speculation, and storytelling for herself, her son, and finally, her granddaughter. While not a replacement, the Artifact is nonetheless a treasured memento for Marni after her grandmother's death.
With the love and support of her two best friends, Sophie and Elora, and the magic of the Artifact to comfort her, Marni is just beginning to cope with the loss of her beloved grandmother when her life takes an abrupt and strange turn. While the girls are examining the Artifact on a backyard camping trip, the object suddenly takes on a life of its own, transporting the three friends and their tent to a strange and distant world. After exploring the tent and their immediate surroundings, the girls discover that the Artifact has vanished, leaving them alone and afraid under a very alien sky.
After summoning their courage, Marni, Sophie and Elora venture out to explore their alien surroundings, where they find a surreal world containing a robot, a mysterious far-off tower, and an illusive yet terrifying monster. Scared, yet buoyed by the stories and songs that they've heard while growing up, the three girls gather their meagre supplies and head out into the wilderness, determined to find a way home.
A magical tale with the most unlikeliest of heroes, "Stargazer" is an exploration of friendship, loss, and hope. By turns terrifying, poignant, and humorous, "Stargazer" is part fairytale, part science fiction, and part adventure story. Anyone who has ever opened a book, looked up at the stars, or dreamed will love this story....and wish they'd been the one to find the Artifact.
- Von Allan Studio
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.26(d)
- Age Range:
- 9 - 12 Years
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After the passing of her grandmother, heartbroken Marni is having a hard time dealing with her loss. Her friends Sophie and Elora come to her side and try and comfort her. All Marni has to remember her grandmother by is a strange-looking artifact that looks more like an antique vacuum cleaner without the hose or cords than anything else. In an effort to get back to a normal life, Marni and her friends have a campout in the backyard and Marni brings the artifact with them into the tent. After a brief tussle, the artifact transports them to a mysterious world, tent and all. The three girls now need to find a way home. The question is how? Perhaps the cute robot they discover can help them. He seems pretty handy, giving them food and all, but he better act quick because a foul beast lurks somewhere in the dark and Marni and her friends will be doomed if they don't stop it first. This is my first exposure to Von Allan's work aside from what I've seen on his website (which I think I found while Googling Canadian cartoonists). I'm very pleased and Stargazer was better than I anticipated. The writing: very solid. Allan's pacing is spot on and his delivery of information is succinct and gets you from point A to B without any clutter. I was very impressed with how he was able to convey what are a very detailed story points, characters and the world they inhabit with him over-explaining everything. His word choice and placement does the work for you and tells you what you need to know when you need to know it. The art: Lately I've been falling in love with black-and-white comic books and Stargazer further convinced me that the black-and-white comic book medium is an arena that needs to be explored by comic book enthusiasts everywhere. Von Allan's artwork is natural, shaded well, inked clearly and is detailed enough so you know what you're looking at, without you getting lost in endless black lines. His proportions are bang on and regardless of the camera angle chosen, each scene unfolds smoothly and easily. The book: Well put together and well bound. I particularly enjoyed the non-standard size of the book (I think it was around 6×9 thereabouts) which made for easy handling when reading. Von Allan also included extras in the back: a character gallery (very cool posters here); plot outline; brainstorming sessions; and even a few pages of sample script. I've always been a fan of behind-the-scenes material for books and comics and Allan's little package at the back of Stargazer was well put together. I'm looking forward to what will no doubt a dynamite Volume Two from a talented storyteller. Keep 'em coming, Mr. Allan. A.P. Fuchs Canister X