I’ve been taking a look at a lot of serious comic books recently, graphic novels in the process of being funded that deal with complex emotional strife through the individuality of their premises. So, as a change of pace, it was a welcome surprise to stumble upon Rene Pfitzner’s ‘Sneaky Goblins at College’ project on Kickstarter, when I went looking for something interesting to write about. To put it plainly, I was so attracted to this particular comic because of how fun it looked. The style is cartoony and familiar (think Adventure Time meets Gravity Falls), it looks quirky and upbeat in its narrative design, and feels like the kind of comic you can pick up multiple times and share with your mates (you know, the ones that aren’t really into comics, but could probably manage a few pages) and the younger members of your family.
The story is actually three shorter stories, told over the space of forty pages and mostly follow different characters throughout their journeys, but set in the same setting. The first of which is the titular ‘Goblins at College’ that follows its main protagonist ‘Dank’ as he stumbles his way through assassins school and has to come to terms with why he wanted to become an assassin in the first place (lots of laughs to be had there I’m sure!) The second, ‘Bog the Orc’ which follows an Orc that doesn’t quite fit in with the crowd of his brethren, leaves home to go it alone and explore the world, this one doesn’t give many clues as to where the story could go but I’m excited to find out! Lastly, the third story, entitled ‘Stop the Dragon’ does exactly what it says on the tin. Dank, Bog, and another character, Sonya, have to help a town that’s being hounded by, you guessed it, a dragon, and figure out a way to help stop its tyranny. The project has interesting stories with well-rounded characters, and a world that’s seemingly packed full of lore and surprises, for example; there’s a map outlying Dank’s journey for early backers on the page that is packed full of interesting places.
Rene Pfitzner has struck a good mix of comical, cartoony, and character, and forced it all in a blender with the resulting magical mixture being Sneaky Goblins. The Kickstarter page boasts that the comic is suitable for all ages, and I think that much is true, which is a testament to how attractive this project really is. It’s hard to strike that balance between making something entertaining for adult comic fans, while also be appealing for younger readers as well, and it’s hard to think of many other projects that have managed it successfully (off the top of my head I can think of the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi, which you should totally read btw), which gives the whole thing a unique edge against other comic projects on Kickstarter, not that it’s a competition or anything.
I’ve never had the pleasure of reading Rene Pfitzner’s original Sneaky Goblins comics , and this is my first encounter with his work (I’m sure I’m missing a lot!) but I really like the sound of this one; it has the look and feel of something truly extraordinary and I think it deserves to be funded just for that aspect. For me, I love seeing projects with a lot of passion and this one has it in spades, which is where a lot of its charm is coming from. It’s fun, quirky, and downright gorgeous to look at, and there’s something of a familiar feel to it, like the cartoons you watched as a kid (might have something to do with Rene Pfitzner being a character animator at DisneyToon) and more importantly, it just looks like an entertaining ride that could read again and again with the same level of enjoyment. I’ll be putting in my pledge, and I hope you do too! If you’re interested in supporting this project, you can as always find the links to the Kickstarter and the creator’s Social media pages below. Let’s get this one funded!
You can find the Kickstarter project page RIGHT HERE