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Gear Paperback – February 13, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
While simpler and more straightforward than some of his other books, there still remains a complex and beautiful story, engaging characters, and some of the most unique artwork and vision I've seen. On many of the pages you can just FEEL the intensity and ferocity with which he drew, and the recklessness and broad stroke style that he shows in this book is one of many reasons that sets him apart artistically from others in my eye. I own them all now, and urge you to do the same, starting with this one.
If you remain interested, check out his other stuff, as he's left imprints everywhere, whether it be his video games (neverhood, skullmonkeys, earthworm jim), cartoons (catscratch, ewj), online videos (sockbaby), or album designs (Terry S. Taylor, Five Iron Frenzy.) It's nice finding an artist with this kind of vision and seemingly endless supply of stories who somehow seems to enjoy what he's doing more than I do.
Despite being a huge fan, Gear eluded me due to its rarity. Finally reading it now, I can certainly see the evolution of Doug's ideas and style. The art is frenetic, loose, and dirty.
Catscratch is the most obvious offspring of Gear, but an observer can clearly see elements which would later be incorporated into Creature Tech, Earthboy Jacobus, Iron West, and even Robot B*stard.
Even if you already own the original comics, pick this one up. It's in vibrant, creator-approved full color and looks gorgeous. The story is sillier and less epic than Doug's later works, but has an immense energy to it. Also, it's got an interesting afterword from Doug, describing where life has taken him since Gear's original release.
Years later, he has seen fit to re-release this special book with a great lookin' new paint job. My appreciation for the art has waned a little (I still love a lot of it, but I noticed, having seen TenNapel's more recent work, that it isn't as strong), but I find myself still appreciating the story as much as I did back in 1998. I was surprised to find that there were still several moments of genuine poignancy in this book about cats in giant robots: Simon's words from Heaven during his funeral; Mr. Black's epilogue narration.
Of course, the other things I loved about Gear remain as well: the character designs, the dialogue (Gordon singing and thrusting while piloting the Gear must be seen), the unique humor, and established universe and the epic feel.
Regarding the color: it's good. While I'm always a fan of good black and white line-work sans color, the addition in Gear in no way harms it. In most cases, it actually enhances it for clarity of reading. There are a few pages that worked better in the original black and white (some of the art without contour lines, for example), but overall the color is welcome.
I'd recommend this book to fans of TenNapel's other work, as well as fans of goofy cartoon work in general. This stuff is great.
i think this book has become my favorite tennapel book. the thing flat rocks. i mean, we got giant robot fights, mantis warriors, espionage cats, cults, the mob, and talking guppies as a symbol for death. the book contained many "laugh out loud" moments, many requiring me to share them with someone else because they are just that good.
the book feels incredibly surreal and other worldly, with art that's reminiscent of 30's disney shorts, but violence is in no short supply. i was honestly a little (quite pleasantly) surprised. after having seen a few episodes of catscratch (gear being the source of inspiration for the cartoon), i had developed a completely different idea of what this book was going to be like. it has a smart symbol laden stories, as tennapel books do, but is approachable. buy it. buy 2 and send one to that friend of yours that lives on the other side of the country. y'know, the one you don't talk to a whole bunch? yeah. that one. they'll thank you for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Violent!!! This book is terrible- it's not a graphic novel it's a graphic violence. It is terrible. People die on many pages, and the pictures show them getting hurt. Read morePublished 29 days ago by reader 1970
Book has fallen apart from he cover twice. Bought a new book and book has the same problem. Disappointed as it is not cheap.Published 7 months ago by Barbara G.
Doug Tennapel has always been a creative fellow. I've loved his games such as Earthworm Jim and Skull Monkeys. As well as his TV shows such as Earthworm Jim and Catscratch. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Monster Matt
Got this for my son who was a big Neverhood fan. Book came in new condition looks great and was a lot of fun for a stocking stuffer. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jeff K
2 stars for the story... 0 stars for the binding, which came apart on the first reading. So that averages out to, uh... 2 stars. Sorry, Doug.
Update. Read more
This review is directed at the physical copy of this graphic novel. Simply put, it is garbage. VERY cheaply made. Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Julie PV
We are TenNapel fans; our 10 year old in particular. This story is engaging & endearing. Part Sci/Fi, part spiritual. Good stuff!Published on December 26, 2013 by CaringConsumer