Review written by Jess Peacock
Christopher Moore is coasting. Considered at one point to be one of the more original and cutting edge voices in genre literature, his last novel, Fool, drowned in a quagmire of Shakespearian buffoonery, while his latest endeavor, the graphic novel The Griff, is simply pointless and ineffectual.
Opening with scant elucidation, a recently discovered artifact submerged in the South Atlantic Ocean shoots a mysterious beam into space, and by page three our planet is under attack from countless hordes of flesh eating dragons that resemble the mythological griffin.
Within days, the majority of humanity has been devoured, an alien ship shows up and crashes off the coast of Florida, and a small cast of Christopher Moore stock characters wax sarcastic as they fail to contemplate the destruction of civilization, or even the death of their loved ones. Between Mo, the sharp tongued goth hottie, Steve, the awkward nerd wagging his tongue after her, and Liz, a buxom (of course) marine biologist, Moore seems to simply be regurgitating his more popular characters from previous novels.
The Griff suffers from many problems, not the least of which is the haphazard and confusing action that takes place on the comic panels. More often than not, the details of the action are lost with very little exposition to assist the reader in discerning what exactly is transpiring and why. Unfortunately, the character development suffers from the same lack of attention to detail, allowing the cast to coast on nothing more than snarky quips.
In addition, the graphic novel reads more as an exercise in Christopher Moore-lite. The author is at his best when he is entirely unleashed, free to explore the depths of comedic, sexual and occult profanity that Lamb, Bloodsucking Fiends, and Practical Demonkeeping made him famous for. However, The Griff finds Moore wearing a creative muzzle, nodding only slightly to the sexual tension between the various leads, choosing rather to focus on the uninspired and hackneyed dragon slaying that fills the pages.
Originally written as a screenplay with Ian Corson, The Griff is clichéd and worn out, with nothing separating it from the countless apocalyptic stories that have come down the pike in recent years. Existing for no other apparent reason than a quick cash grab (The Griff retails for $22.99), one can only hope that Christopher Moore will break out of this apparent creative slump with his next full-length novel, Sacre Bleu, due out soon.