Comics Reviews

REVIEW: GIRRION: Book 1: The Chrysalis & The Stone #1-3

Girrion is without a doubt an ambitious project. Just looking at the cover makes you realise that the person behind this idea has imagination and talent. I do enjoy science-fiction, especially when it comes to immersing ourselves in a different world and universe. This tale’s greatest strength is how much writer and artist Tom Lintern has put into bringing his world to life through the extensive backstory he has created. You can feel this world, its characters, and it really does make you feel like you’re in a different universe.

The artwork is phenomenal. Lintern has chosen his style well through the combination of water-works, graphic novel and manga styled drawing styles. It all blends together to create a unique look that keeps your eyes captured from start to finish. Not only do each species have a fantastic design they each feel fresh and original, something that really made the original Star Wars movies a great contribution to the science-fiction genre. Above all is the incredible backdrop of the world we get to explore. What’s interesting is it isn’t glamourous or extraordinary, it’s actually the opposite. We see dark, gritty, industrial environments that are run down and ancient. It’s almost a world of scrap, and old memories, that pioneers have merely adapted into a place in which they can co-exist.

It’s interesting delving into the bits and pieces the narrative reveals about the past which gives you some understanding as to what made the current world the way it is. We have this state of paranoia as outsiders are deemed threatening to the livelihood of the people of the old spacecraft. There are indications to wars and skirmishes and an old evil which pretty much sets up your basic plot-thread of the narrative, reminding me of such recent epic science-fiction stories Mass Effect and Destiny from the video-game industry.

The narrative itself follows protagonist Jarra, a member of the peaceful Gunflins, living his normal everyday life with the rest of his race but things begin to change when Princess Uralla arrives. She wishes to find the lost Empress and is hoping to persuade the Council of the Dwarlin Elders to aid her in her quest. Soon afterwards a strange piece of machinery is found and brought before the Princess, ultimately transforming into a strange creature that emits a strange signal across the ship. Jarra’s story has him come into contact with a mysterious relic passed down to him by his parents, to which he sees a hologram of unknown meaning. The following day the spacecraft is attacked by the Elkrin, to which the third issue ends on the note of whether or not Jarra and his friends can escape the invasion alive.

I will admit that the only flaw with this impressive comic-book is understanding the storyline. Maybe I’m very thick, but then again I do find it harder to delve into the world of comic-books (especially when they are so intelligent), but for a beginning Girrion doesn’t give you a lot of information about what is going on and you have to digest what is given to you and keep collecting information as it goes along. It’s not totally a bad thing and keeps you engaged but I did find it confusing at times as to what was going on and where things were heading. A small gripe, I know, but it is something that could put readers off. But once the narrative got going it became clearer to understand and I find it will get more easier to follow, especially as the journey is properly established and we know what the character motivations are.

I have to say that the invasion scenes at the end of #3 were fantastically drawn. Each panel told a story and each frozen moment was a breath-taking look into the intense moment as the spacecraft came under attack and the battle erupted, with death and destruction quickly spreading on both sides of the battlefield. It felt like you were looking at screen shots from a summer blockbuster, it was that well drawn and executed. This is all credit to Lintern’s great art-style and the way he has brought his vision to life. One can not argue with ambition (I’m guilty of this). I’ve never been one for thinking small and instead enjoy trying to create grand ideas that can expand into something massive and extensive. Girrion is absolutely just that and I have no doubt in my mind that this particular narrative can go on to become something special. It’s a very intelligent piece of art, full of sophistication and well throughout ideas and it will be most interesting to see where this sci-fi epic can go.

And there you have it, my small insight into this wonderful project. It’s very early days yet, despite reading the first three issues. Girrion still has so much to bring and these issues merely give you a taste of what is to come. I really implore people to give this a go and show Lintern your support. For more information check the Girrion website: For those of you who have read Girrion please tell us what you thought about this project either in the comment section below or on our Twitter page!

About the author

John Hussey