Korgi is a new, all-ages series from former Disney animator, Christian Slade (Brother Bear). The book is similar to Andy Runton’s Owly series, which is also from Top Shelf Production. Both are silent comics, relying on sequential comic panels without captions, word balloons, or dialogue to tell the story, and both are also woodland fantasies – stories set in idyllic woodlands where the protagonists live in harmony with their surroundings.
Korgi (Book 1): Sprouting Wings! opens in Korgi Hollow, named so because this is the place where the last known korgis live. Korgis are fox-like creatures with big ears and large smiles that denote their exceptionally sun dispositions (which they have even during times of distress). They live in Korgi Hollow with the “Mollies,” woodland folk made up of a mix of what appears to be gnomes and humans.
The stars of Sprouting Wings! are a young Mollie named Ivy and her korgi cub, Sprout. Sprout is a loyal assistant as he helps Ivy do her part in the harvest, which is when Sprout wanders off. Wandering from the safety of the hollow, the duo lands in the clutches of Gallump, a monster that lives beyond Korgi Hollow. Now, only their plucky resolve will save them.
THE LOWDOWN: Christian Slade’s art recalls pen and ink book illustration (early 20th century), and it has that gentle lamp lit quality of some Disney animation, which is perfect for a children’s illustrated book. That’s what Korgi is – as much a picture book as it is a graphic novel. It has a tender hook – a young heroine her pet playing in a safe magical woodland with danger lurking behind a tree. The villains are dangerous enough to interest a young reader, and actually not as intense as stuff found in some Walt Disney animated features.
It’s a little too cutesy at times, but even an adult scrooge heart can’t help but be taken in by Korgi’s lovely art and fantasy setting.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Comic book readers who enjoy the aforementioned Owly and also Jeff Smith’s Bone will like this.