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Outta-the-way, Dobby, Top Cow Has a New House-Elf to Love

Written by LukeAnthony on Sunday, August 03 2014 and posted in Reviews

Outta-the-way, Dobby, Top Cow Has a New House-Elf to Love

If you didn't love bottom-tooth grins before, you will now.

Source: Top Cow Productions

In a slowly dying world, everything shifts, including the weight of any good in the world. Most of the Earth seems like a post-apocalyptic Middle-Earth in the new graphic novel from Adrian Smith. Relying almost entirely on illustration, Chronicles of Hate will make you fall in love with a really ugly Goblin. Maybe he's a house-elf. Doesn't matter.
This is a classic underdog story that feels a lot like Middle Earth if the Orcs took over. Since not much dialogue is used, I don’t know if they technically are what I’m going to call them, but there are Goblins, Trolls, Giants, a different version of Orcs, and massive animals used for transportation, so it very much feels like it could have came out of Middle Earth. Hundreds of years have passed since Mother Earth was chained up by sourcerers unknown, this wreaked havoc on everything. The sun turned to ice, the moon set on fire, and the planet seems nearly dead. The planet is covered in a thick smog with hardly any light, which is the reason why this graphic novel is so dark.
I understand why the art so dimly lit, but at times it was difficult to figure out what was going on. I just skipped a panel here and there and kept going, eventually all the gaps were filled, but I have to say it got a tiny bit frustrating to not be able to tell what I was looking at. In contrast, there were plenty of panels that I thought looked amazing, and in the end, I’m surprised to say that I think Adrian Smith really pulled it off. I say that only because I don’t generally like reading stories with little dialogue, because I spend too much time trying to understand what’s in the panel. This story broke that mold for me. It was really fun to see just what the comics medium can do. At times, I felt that it was animated, the story felt so alive. Worm is such an ugly gray goblin with his loaf body, wide head, small eyes, and skinny arms, but somehow Smith pulls off these subtle nuances in his panels to make Worm communicate without words and connect with the reader. Maybe it's BECAUSE he doesn't talk that I want him to save Mother Earth and have life return to Her, I don't know. He's just cool.
Worm gets captured, gets saved, gets captured again, gets saved, but ultimately it ends with..."TO BE CONTINUED." but I definitely recommend the book if you can spare the $30. It’s a bit steep if you don’t know what you’re getting into, in my opinion. I sat down with it this morning, and read it over a couple hours. It’s 156 pages, so take your time with it otherwise you’ll miss a lot. It will be available in stores September 24th.


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About the Author - LukeAnthony

When Luke isn't writing reviews, he's writing manuals (occupation), original comics (vocation), children's books, or music (recreation). As a lover of all things high-concept, sci-fi, and/or philosophical, comics found their way into his life only a few years ago, at the ripe age of 26. It was V for Vendetta & Watchmen that led to his pathological media consumption rebirth of 2012. Ever since then, he found himself happier, more child-like, a tad bit smarter, and a much better liar. True to Outhouser gospel, he believes humor, like water, must be present in all things. If it's not, it's too dry & sucks the life out. Sarcasm, the salty demeanor of the South, frightened this idealist in youth, but is now the occasional spice used in his well seasoned personality. He sold all he had to leave his old world behind (cars, house, belongings) & become a full-time traveler across the US of A, a decision that altered his inner world as much as his outer one. If it has humor, depth, spiritual significance, and/or technicality and in that order, then consider it on this briny dude's shelf and up for review. Favorite on-going series include Black Science and Saga. This light, but deep fellow can be found on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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