I picked up Sobek on a whim. I was at Small Press Expo (back in 2019 when we could still attend such events in person) and was checking out the artists and publishers’ booths while desperately trying not to buy everything in sight. Then I saw the cover of Sobek and could not look away. That giant crocodile lured me over as well as the glint of gold winking at me from the cover.
Since then, the comic book has sat on my shelves, but I recently read it and am glad to report that this cover-buy paid off. I enjoyed it.
Sobek by James Stokoe (illus.)
Life is pretty good being a gigantic crocodile god: spend your days lazing on the riverbeds of the Nile while your devotees shower praise and juicy offerings upon you. But Sobek’s idyll is broken and he must limber into action when a distraught priest relays news of affront and vandalism from the followers of Set. An all-new, unmissable stunner from James Stokoe. (Goodreads)
I was hoping that this would be a series or something, but it seems to be a one-off story. It’s about the Egyptian crocodile god, Sobek. The god Set and his followers attacked and defiled Sobek’s temple and the city it’s in, so three dudes, one of whom seems to be a shaman or priest, travel on the river Nile to seek Sobek’s help.
The story wasn’t at all what I expected. Sobek is a chill dude who likes to eat and sleep, so although he agrees to help his worshippers, he takes his time getting there often stopping to sleep. And when he gets rid of Set and his followers, the result is not what Sobek’s worshippers expect.
The book is short (about 32 pages), but I was satisfied with the story’s length. The illustrations kept me turning the pages and the story’s wry humor kept me interested and entertained. Although I’d like it to be a series, I believe the short length works best for this story. I just want a bunch of these one-off stories about Sobek and to see more of Stokoe’s art.
I love it. Stokoe’s illustrations in this comic book are very detailed. As I said before, it’s the cover that got me first. When seen in person, the gold foil used to decorate the accoutrements Sobek is wearing winks at you, pulling your attention to notice the giant crocodile on the cover and how intricately detailed it is. When added to Sobek’s immense size, the gold leaf used with the accessories Sobek is wearing give the sense of majesty worthy of this god.
Throughout the story, Sobek’s size is always emphasized and is a constant reminder that he’s a colossal supernatural being. It was entertaining how his size is used to surprise and amaze those reverent to him, like the boy who accompanied those sailing on the river to seek Sobek’s help.
The intricate detail continues throughout the story. It’s seen in Stokoe’s illustrations of the landscape, the pedestal Sobek lazes on, the boat the men sail on… everything. It makes the art stand out and really appeal to me. I also like the colors used: soothing blues and greens that seem to blend into each other for the landscape, and a subtle red fading into yellow that hints at sunsets. A lot of dark ink is used to emphasize and further define the illustrations, but it’s not overpowering.
A short, funny comic book about the giant Egyptian crocodile god Sobek with amazingly detailed illustrations.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
I think it’s worth getting for the art. It was published by ShortBox, so you can get a copy from their website.