Updated on 16 October, 2021
Goblins is a new ongoing comic series by Ellipsis Woods. Running since late 2021, the webcomic follows adventure-thrilling role-playing format that the characters can utilize. Several spin-off series like a board game, a card game, and an animated television series were announced but haven't been made. I had a chance to catch up with the creative team behind the project and get a first look at one of their planned spin-offs. I'll discuss my notes here.
Goblins features a unique take on the familiar dungeon-crawler. The premise centers around a single family, consisting of a father, mom, and their teenage son, exploring dark and magical virtual realms to search for the mythical "Goblin gold." The family constantly finds itself in trouble, while gaining the occasional ally along the way. There are a variety of interesting ideas and visual cues, including an almost cartoonish world, creatures that are both friendly and vicious, puzzles, a magic system, and of course, plenty of XP fodder.
It's easy to tell that this is a light-hearted comedy, since the main characters are always portrayed as having a mischievous attitude. In fact, it's clear that the entire point behind the comic is to have the characters deal with some mild inconveniences along the way. This makes the book less serious, and more of a light-hearted fun read. This is evident through the panel layout, which features mostly large panels that frame the main character's adventures.
The layout starts out with a foreword introducing the concept of Goblins to readers. The comic features humorously complex mythology, including how the gods created the first Goblins (much like how the Bible includes the creation of Adam and Eve). The background also introduces the main character, Maxim, who is an up-and-coming young adventurer. He's incredibly greedy and arrogant, but he also has an extreme mischievous sense of humor. He tends to get himself into all kinds of trouble, yet he's always seeking out new adventure and knowledge.
The artwork is fairly simple, but not bland. Most of the artwork features Max wearing a shirt with a reddish shirt collar, with a wide smile on his face. His outfit is almost always the same, though, since he's frequently seen traveling to different worlds. The main color scheme is blue, which is mostly represented by the sky and cloud formations. His pants are a bright red, and often feature a flower or tribal design. The comic appears to be designed around the cartoon character's own interest in knowledge, rather than his own unique style.
One of the greatest parts of this comic is that it focuses its theme on low-level adventurers. Unlike many cartoons, the ones featured in the Goblins comic are not always very powerful. They tend to have more humble origins, instead going up against stronger foes and creatures. This makes them seem more genuine, despite the fact that they're often times not capable of defeating stronger opponents. For this reason, this comic is very much appropriate for children who are just getting started in role playing.
The one real downside to this comic is that it doesn't have a very long story. It's only eleven issues long, but it still manages to be packed with great visuals and fantastic action. It's also well paced, with each issue featuring new and exciting adventures that lead the main character, Maxim, through many different stages. In addition, the art and writing are both very colorful and entertaining, featuring a mix of very nice images for each panel and story beat. The final product is often times very funny and exciting, despite lacking a few episodes of greatness.
Overall, the success of the series is owed mostly to its excellent animation, as well as the interesting and unique perspective the author displays his characters. No one else has managed to capture the humor and appeal to younger viewers like Eric Carle has, which is why he's clearly one of the best writers in the field. Of course, anyone who likes to see fantasy stories about animals will enjoy them, as well as those who prefer animated characters over live action. Regardless of your personal preferences, you should definitely add Goblins to your comics reading list.