The Gathering is a collection of short comic tales, all written and drawn by different creators. The creators were brought together by Jinxworld forums under a mission to put together an awesome anthology of tales. And they succeeded. The first volume has the theme of “hope” running through every short tale. Whether that message is taken literally, seriously, or sarcastically is up to each creative team. As with every anthology, some tales are better than others but not a single one is what I would call bad. Only good to great within these pages.
There is hope about love and disease, death and dreams. It is an amazing and bold move to look at your writers and artists, give them one word – “hope”, and then let them go nuts. What do you, sitting there reading this article, think of when you read that word hope? Do you think of telling the tale of a man’s thoughts as he waits to find out if he has cancer? Do you think of a demon wishing to be something more… heroic? Finding hope in injury, in a chaotic world, in the apocalypse. Oh yes, this is all in one book.
The art crosses every possible style and its all beautiful. Light pencils, heavy inks, cartoonish or realistic. A lot of credit has to be given to the editor for breaking up the stories so well. Not story looks anything like the one preceding or coming after. It truly shows a joy of all things comics. Sure, there are a lot of superheroes (and some, kind of, in this book). But comics can be so much more. Showing us the emotions that cant be put into words and the images that need a little explanation all at the same time.
I cant wait to read every following theme from GrayHaven Comics in future volumes of The Gathering. To see what these creators do with concepts like love and fear, among others. The thought of such great potential keeps me up at nights in anticipation.
(For the record, my favorite in this book is “Maybe Next Year” by Ray Goldfield and Kent Holle. The idea of a son missing his super powered dad and seeing every other super being come back is heartbreaking. He’s just a kid who wants his father back. Why do I have to be different? Why cant my daddy be here? It still gets to me.)