Gear #2-6 (of 6)
[Fireman Press Ltd. $2.95 US B&W]
Written & Illustrated by Douglas Tennapel
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Gear #4Way back in Creeping Reviews vol. 2 #1 I reviewed Gear #1. After reading that issue I came to the conclusion that I would have to read all of this mini-series before I could pass judgment. Well, I’ve read ‘em all and while I think Doug Tennapel is an incredibly talented animator and game designer he’s an average comic writer/artist.

The story of Gear takes place in an anthropomorphic world and revolves around the town of Newton which is being invaded by the Southplate insects. Four cats from Newton have been sent to collect a giant robot war machine, a Guardian, to aid in the defense of Newton. To make matters worse, the Northplate cats and the denizens of Dogtown have put aside their differences and are planning to attack Newton as well.

Everyone except the Southplate insects are intent upon finding the "Forbidden Mechanism," a gear which when integrated into the machinery of a Guardian allows one to meld with the powerful robot making it virtually unstoppable.

The premise sounds interesting. Where it falls down is in the execution of the tale. Since Tennapel comes from an animation background Gear ends up reading a lot like storyboards for an animated short. It probably would have worked well as animation but as a comic the story doesn’t have enough meat to keep the reader satisfied.

Tennapel’s illustrations are expressive and do an able job of conveying the action. Sometimes the details in panels were hard to make out but that was more the result of the sometimes thick and sketchy inking.

Gear has been out for a while now so if you can’t find it in your local comics shop write: Fireman Press Ltd., 709 Broadway Avenue, Suite 1, Venice CA, 90291. You can visit the Fireman Press web site at