Overview

The Gimoles #1

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The Gimoles #1

Credits

  • Words: Mike Bullock
  • Art: Theo Bain
  • Inks: Theo Bain
  • Colors: Theo Bain
  • Story Title: The Gimoles
  • Publisher: Alias Enterprises
  • Price: $0.75
  • Release Date: Jul 13, 2005

The secret keepers of the seasons are revealed as Runemaster Studios unveils its latest all-ages fantasy.

For centuries, the balance of the seasons has been maintained by a secret council of miniature elves. It falls to the tiny green-skinned Gimoles to usher in the spring. They paint every leaf and petal, awaken the animals from hibernation, teach the songbirds to sing, and prepare for each new beginning. Yet, there are those who wish it wasn’t so. Ichabod Frost, the Czar of Winter, desires that the seasons never change and the world be forever covered in snow and ice (he has horrible allergies, you see). Thus, it falls to the adventurous young Gimole, Limmy, to stop Frost’s nefarious plot.

Fresh off the runaway success of the Lions, Tigers and Bears miniseries, Mike Bullock and Runemaster Studios seem determined for lightning to strike twice. With The Gimoles, Bullock has created another thoroughly charming and entertaining fantasy tale that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. Much as I enjoyed the earlier series, The Gimoles seems to be a story more up my alley, combining two elements for which I have a soft spot—fantasy quests and cute little faerie creatures.

What immediately struck me about this issue (which I was lucky enough to get a preview of) was the timeless quality of the story. Many of the characters and imaginative explanations for the seasons reminded me of classic Rankin/Bass animated television specials, the kind of tales that purport to have the "real story" behind famous holidays. The Gimoles cast would fit quite admirably in that sort of world and seem to be carrying on that storytelling tradition. Bullock does a nice job introducing each Gimole and their job and establishing the conventions of this world. In a short span of time, we get a sense for each character’s personality and the dialogue is laced with a good dose of humor. Bullock thankfully never talks down to his readers, though the story does lean towards being a tad cutesy on occasion (try saying "He kidnapped Mr. Groundhog" with a straight face). I also found it to be a surprisingly quick read. Ultimately however, the issue is filled with so much creativity and joy, any flaw it might have is quite forgivable.

A great deal of that joy comes from observing the breathtaking art of Theo Bain. The look of this series has a soft gorgeous animation-esque style that is very appealing to the eye. Bain’s linework is clean and assured and each image shines with dazzling color. I love Bain’s designs for the various kindred of the seasonal council. The autumn elves known as the Niffles are gray and somber in appearance while the unnamed summer elves are boisterous red-skinned creatures with literally fiery hair. The bespectacled Groundhog with his waistcoat and bushy mustache looks like he stepped out of a Lewis Carroll or Kenneth Grahame novel. And the Gimoles themselves are so bright and full of life and absolutely adorable, my heart just wants to melt every time I see them.

With The Gimoles, Bullock and Bain seem to be following in the footsteps of time-tested literary and pop culture traditions. At a mere 75 cents, there’s no reason not to check this issue out and revisit your childhood for a little while.

-Eric Lindberg

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