Finding Gossamyr #1-2

I’ve seen plenty of comics (and books) with the plot “kids find their way into a fantasy world”, so there’s nothing new about that, but I did enjoy some of the subtler character work in the first two issues of Finding Gossamyr.

Finding Gossamyr #1 cover

Denny’s brilliant but troubled — he reads as functioning autistic, actually, with an insistence on routine and a lot of emotional problems if they get disrupted — and Jenna is his sister. She takes care of him, in spite of the many sacrifices it’s required from her to do so. There’s a mysterious organization promising to take care of him if he solves an equation that opens doors between universes (which reminded me of the group that made River Tam in Firefly). When the kids fall through (as you know they will), they meet a charming rogue with a very intelligent fuzzy horse-beast creature.

Finding Gossamyr #2 cover

As I said, this is all very familiar, but I’m touched by how Jenna struggles to balance her own needs with her love for her brother. She clearly cares about him, but she’s also fed up at times with his lack of empathy and self-control.

The art is also lovely, with coloring providing verisimilitude, even in the alien forest (which looks like a typical medieval fantasy setting). The soft focus adds to the otherworldly feeling, while there’s a good sense of motion between panels.

Issue #1 ends, after establishing the siblings’ relationship, with the kids in the different world. Issue #2 introduces Eloric and his steed Barnabus. Jenna gets to show an unexpected talent (but one that makes perfect sense, given what we know of her so far), and the villain appears, adding a strong sense of danger. There’s magic and face-offs and more information on how the worlds are threatened. That’s my least favorite part, honestly. I appreciate much more human-scaled stories these days instead of another “we must save the world!” But I’d read another issue, just to see the friendship continue to develop between Eloric and Jenna.

Eloric is your typical charming rogue, which I always find entertaining if done well, with mysterious backstory sure to be revealed as the series continues. Issue #2 is due out September 26, with #3 due in late November. (The publisher provided digital review copies.)

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3 Responses to “Finding Gossamyr #1-2”

  1. Nicola Says:

    Interesting. I’ve never met an autistic main character in a kids’ comic. My son is autistic and I have asperger’s. From your description, it sounds more like aspergers but I’d be interested to see if he is portrayed positively throughout.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, it could very well be; I think you would know better than I.

    Denny isn’t portrayed exclusively positively, but in a nuanced way that I appreciated. For example, his routines sometimes get in the way of what both Jenna and the reader know needs to happen.

  3. Nicola Says:

    I guess I should have said “realistically” rather than “positively”. We can all be annoying at times :-) Seems like you were shown a good example of how Denny ‘ticked’.

    Thanks! I’ve pinned the series.

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