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Stargazer Volume 1: an original all-ages graphic novel Paperback – April 25, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"While this is only Volume One, this is a rather sizable book unto itself, loaded as well with pages and pages of bonus content, from detailed notes describing Von's writing process, to character designs and sketch pages, even extra pin-ups and the like. Really, it all serves as a painful teaser of the many places the story of Stargazer might deign to lead. This is a fun story at that, with colorful characters, even in light of the darkness implied therein to their respective backstories. One of those books that is not so easily compared to others, Stargazer will make the ideal book for drawing in new readers to the medium, and will easily and competently do so while entertaining those of us older readers desperate for something original and knowing. Layered writing, when done well, writes down to nobody. And Von Allan has instilled his Stargazer with enough layers to appeal to anyone who gives it a chance. So please, give it a chance and be so appealed." --Zedura Magazine, May 30, 2010

"This book is definitely something that should be on the radar of parents out there that are looking for something innocuous. The book isn't just for kids, though. When read, it took me back to the days of my youth when everything including life itself was much more simplistic. Definitely give Von Allan's Stargazer a look for yourself, or anyone needing a great gift for the holidays! Again, kudos to Von Allan and his smooth style of writing a simple story in a world where it seems everything is interweaving like a spiderweb and sometimes too hard to follow. Let's face it, a story doesn't need to span a lifetime or contain forty different characters to be good." --Comic Attack, November 18, 2010

"Anyway, this book deals with a young girl who is very distraught about the recent death of her grandmother. The early moments of the book are all about this and the family dynamic that comes from it, but don't worry, that title comes into effect before too long. Marni (the main character) eventually has a sleepover with friends, they end up camping in the backyard and eat too much pizza... then things get weird. Marni has inherited an odd artifact from her grandma, and they're all poking around at it when something flashes and they find themselves in a strange land. Oh, and the artifact is gone. The rest of the book is essentially them trying to get acclimated to this new place, as they find an old statue, a tiny robot guy, a boat and a few other things I probably shouldn't get into. To top it all off Von has decided to put his notes in the back, so we get to see his thought process for how this would all eventually play out. He did take out the spoilers for future volumes, but I still skipped over most of it because I don't want anything ruined and I'm a big enough dork to go back and read those notes after the series is finished anyway. I liked it overall, as it has a ton of potential, but this is still very much the early days of this saga. Well, I'm hopeful that it ends up being a saga, but you never know with comic finances the way they are. One quibble is that the characters had a tendency to stutter to convey seemingly any emotion, as the mourners at the funeral were all about stuttering, then the kids were all about it whenever they ran into anything odd in the new world. That can be conveyed just as easily by a facial expression, says the guy who couldn't draw a realistic person if his life depended on it. Like a said, a mere quibble, and it should in no way be meant to indicate a lack of overall quality. The art is amazing (although I'm thinking future volumes will give Von more of a chance to flex his artistic muscles), the writing was excellent overall and I can't wait to see what happens next, so that sure sounds like a success to me." --Optical Sloth, January 28th, 2011
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Product Details

  • Series: Stargazer
  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Von Allan Studio (April 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978123727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978123727
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,596,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Von Allan has been living and breathing comics in the Great White North for a number of years and has built an active and well-respected presence in the larger comics community. He has written, pencilled, and inked a number of short stories and two full-length, original graphic novels. Both books were well received by fans, retailers, and critics and continue to sell today: "the road to god knows...," the heartwarming story of a teenager growing up with a schizophrenic mother; and "Stargazer," an all-ages sci-fi/fantasy adventure. His new digital comic book, "Metal Gods," began in June, 2014, on the comiXology platform.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adorkable Thespian on October 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I had just cracked open 'Stargazer' when my three-year-old son walked into the room and demanded to know what I was reading. He was immediately intrigued by the graphics and insisted I read the words. My son is not one to sit still for more than a couple of minutes at a time, but I think it speaks volumes about Von Allan's talent as a graphic novelist that, 'Stargazer' had us both captivated from the first page.

I can only assume that Von has a lot of women in his life. He writes young female protagonists extremely well, avoiding the hackneyed teen-stereotypes of overly-precocious witticisms and lithe, long-legged physicality. Marni and her friends are much closer to my experience of being a girl/young woman. Von Allan's previous novel 'The Road To God Knows' was rooted in a realistic universe; however, he's equally adept at creating a fictional universe that is fascinating, yet comfortable and comprehensible.

My normally rambunctious child sat stock still and quiet while I read him the entire story. Later, my mother stumbled upon it and gave it read. My mom? Doesn't NOT read graphic literature. But she LOVED this! She was especially impressed with how Von Allan tacked the issues around Marni's grief for her grandmother. "That's exactly how I felt when I lost my own grannie," my mom told me.

Great work, Von! Our whole family is eager for volume two!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
With shades of both J.M. Barrie and C.S. Lewis, Stargazer is a coming of age adventure. Specifically, set in the waning seasons of adolescence for a trio of young girls, this science-fantasy tale both realistically and imaginatively expresses the yearnings every human being on the planet feels for an escape from the harshness of this tiresome old real world.

Having previously read and reviewed (and loved) Von Allan's debut original graphic novel, The Road To God Knows, I thought I'd have a better idea of what to expect here. In fact. even having been able to spy some of the earlier work in progress, this finished work really left its mark on me. Von is a brilliant writer, in the sense that while many writers might be honored with the compliment of possessing an ear for dialogue, this man seriously, truly, does. As such, each and every one of his characters is wonderfully portrayed so realistically that it's easy to find comparisons to real persons that any of us might know, might even be or have been ourselves. And this story, thankfully but an opening chapter to a larger work (hefty though this book is), exhibits a fantastic scope of vision. While fictional settings such as Never Land and Narnia, or Wonderland and Oz, have worked so successfully in capturing the minds of readers over the years is because they all appeal to multiple levels of cognition. Young readers can easily find aspects to enjoy and so take to heart, and equally, older readers as well can find aspects to take to heart and so enjoy. What Von is building here- accomplishes the same thing. Still, a part of me solemnly wishes this book had been around when I myself was the age of the protagonists of the piece, Marni, Sophie, and Elora.

Von's art has grown as well, since his last book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A.P. Fuchs, author of The Axiom-man Saga on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
After the passing of her grandmother, heartbroken Marni is having a hard time dealing with her loss. Her friends Sophie and Elora come to her side and try and comfort her. All Marni has to remember her grandmother by is a strange-looking artifact that looks more like an antique vacuum cleaner without the hose or cords than anything else.

In an effort to get back to a normal life, Marni and her friends have a campout in the backyard and Marni brings the artifact with them into the tent. After a brief tussle, the artifact transports them to a mysterious world, tent and all. The three girls now need to find a way home. The question is how? Perhaps the cute robot they discover can help them. He seems pretty handy, giving them food and all, but he better act quick because a foul beast lurks somewhere in the dark and Marni and her friends will be doomed if they don't stop it first.

This is my first exposure to Von Allan's work aside from what I've seen on his website (which I think I found while Googling Canadian cartoonists). I'm very pleased and Stargazer was better than I anticipated.

The writing: very solid. Allan's pacing is spot on and his delivery of information is succinct and gets you from point A to B without any clutter. I was very impressed with how he was able to convey what are a very detailed story points, characters and the world they inhabit without him over-explaining everything. His word choice and placement does the work for you and tells you what you need to know when you need to know it.

The art: Lately I've been falling in love with black-and-white comic books and Stargazer further convinced me that the black-and-white comic book medium is an arena that needs to be explored by comic book enthusiasts everywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Stargazer Volume One is a black-and-white graphic novel following three girls stranded on a faraway alien world. Young Marni has recently lost her grandmother, with whom she was very close. Her grandmother had also bequeathed a mysterious "Artifact" upon her - and it is this object that transports Marni and her friends, Sophie and Elora, far away from any home they have ever known. The three girls must pool their courage and resources to learn more about this unreal new world, and the strange things within it - a robot, a faraway tower, and an unknown monster hidden in shadows. Stargazer is a story of wonder, exploration, determination, and inward as well as outward challenge, and is highly recommended for readers of all ages.
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