Review: The Ogre Gods HC Series Vol 1-3
If you shopped at the Comics Dungeon in Seattle you probably had to put up with me pushing this series on you, so you may just want to skip this post. If not though, and you think you might be in the mood for some gothic fantasy/horror with amazing artwork, then definitely keep on reading.
Written by Hubert with exceptionally beautiful artwork by Bertrand Gatignol, the Ogre Gods series is a perfect example of strong world building with a keen eye towards creating an immersive pace. It does so by breaking each chapter with a few pages of light text that takes the form of the historical archives of the world, allowing for all the exposition and context building to be portioned at just the right intervals. The end result is an organic growth of your knowledge of the world without you feeling like an exposition dump just happened, and I absolutely love it.
It allows for the scale of the world to be fleshed out, and Gatignol's artwork also does a hefty amount of that lifting. With his smooth contours and incredible attention to detail and architecture he captures so much atmosphere and tone in the development of the world and characters that most of it speaks for itself without the aid of the text breaks.
On top of that, Gatignol's art captures the creepy horror of the Ogre Gods themselves, an inbred clan of giants that control and feast on the kingdom they rule through terror. They're essentially aristocratic cannibals who have ruled from their mountain on high for generations, but as time passed their offspring grew weaker and smaller as they attempted to keep the bloodline pure through breeding within the family.
Enter the start of our first core character's story as the Queen one day noticed she was bleeding at the dinner table. She unknowingly gave birth to a human-sized ogre.
Faking that she ate her own newborn child, she hides him away from the family and seeks to keep him safe in the hopes of refreshing their bloodline as he'll be able to mate with humans. The first book follows the life of Petit and his struggles of living under the shadow of his father the king.
Book two follows the line of chamberlains that served the Ogre Gods, focusing on the character Yori and his Machiavellian rise to power. It's a slight tonal and perspective shift that runs parallel to the story of the first book and does an amazing amount of world building behind the scenes of what we've already seen. There's an interesting amount of backstory focusing on the nobles and human aristocrats living under the shadow of the Ogres, and the depths to which they abuse their powers over the common folk.
Which brings us up to book three which sees the continuation of the momentum of both previous books cleanly intersecting. The Great Man does follow Petit and Yori's stories, but it mostly pivots to a new character named Bear. Bear is one of the resistance fighters who actively sought to over throw the nobility of the kingdom, but as the playing field changed due to Petit's actions in the first book Bear instead crosses paths with Petit in the hopes of leveraging his 'divine bloodline' in some way. It all starts to connect with some old and new mythology they developed throughout the series, and sets us on a very interesting course for the future books.
As per the usual quality from Magnetic Press, each volume is a very nicely designed hardcover package with a nice gold foil title. Ranging from 152-188 pages, they offer a nice chunk of reading due to the text pages but also move at a brisk pace so it never feels like a slog to get through any of them.
These English editions have been coming out since 2018 and they have been some of my favorite comics to come out over the years. There aren't too many series where I am eagerly waiting for the next instalment, so there's a lot to be said for the level of engagement this world has fostered for me. If you're in the mood for an interesting splice of fantasy and horror, definitely give this series a shot.