November 30, 2008

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The Ride Home

Written by Joey Weiser
Illustrated by Joey Weiser
AdHouse

[We picked this up at SPX this year, one of the many things we grabbed at a great convention that I highly recommend for those into indie comics.]

I always want to call this one the ride GNOME, because of its feature character, Nodo. He's a van gnome who gets horribly lost one day and has to find his way back to the soccer dad owners he calls home. Along the way, he encounters a bureaucratic sewer dragon ("It's a living."), inept trolls, helpful cows, and even a fellow car gnome with a definite crush on our Nodo.

There's also gnomes in the wild, a fearsome thing that no city gnome should try to deal with alone!

On the surface, the story is a classic journey of discovery, as Nodo tries to find his place in life, starting off with one objective but finding out that it may not be the objective he wants, after all. Though the trope is familiar, it's very well done and the characters make a logical progression, rather than one forced by the story the writer wants to tell.

But what makes this one work so well for me are the characters themselves. Nodo is fairly clueless and isolated, and his personality quirks make for a cute tale. The folks we meet, particularly the angry gnomes, the inept trolls, and one really organized dragon, are fleshed out just enough to be interesting, without going on too long. Any one of them would make for a good spin-off story, and that's saying something to me about the quality of the writing.

The Ride Home is a short, easy read--perfect, in fact, to read on a ride home. Recommended.