Sketch Ride

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Sketch Ride: Goliath by Tom Gauld

Goliath was an interesting read for me, although I know how this story is normally told, I did not expect it to be told this way. The cover and art style are very pleasing to look at, everything is a brown or sepia tone. It gives the pages an old parchment type of look. The expressions on the characters never get too exaggerated and at most only depict the emotion in the eyes with sad or angry eyebrows. It is also pleasing to the eye without shoving too much detail in your face, there is shading when needed and the nighttime scenes are done beautifully.

The story is an interesting take on the original narrative. Goliath in this story is a victim being taken advantage of by his appearance. Instead of being a grand warrior in the other versions, Goliath is a quiet man who enjoys doing military paperwork than being out in the field. Because of his large size he is used as an intimidation tactic to scare away the Israelites. He is given armor that cant actually protect him and it falls into more and more pieces each day. He also has a young shield bearer who keeps him company while waiting for a challenger. The kid is great and acts like an actual kid, instead of constantly being a nuisance, or over all charming. He has his flaws as well and is an overall good character. Unfortunately it ends like any other Goliath story, with his death. You however arent on the side of wanting to defeat Goliath, he wasnt doing anything wrong he just took the fall and was used as a human shield. This book really makes you relate to Goliath as weve all been forced into something we didnt want to do. Although not as drastic as Goliath’s circumstance. His armor did not protect him and David took back the head of an assumed warior, but took the head of an innocent man. It paints David as the villain in this case. It wasnt in self defense, it was the murder of someone forced into a battle they did not know how to fight. Goliath even says he is a terrible swordsman.

This is such a more valuable take on this story as it flips it on its head. Hero and villain are swapped and Goliath has to leave behind a friend who see him get murdered. This is a more modern story telling as most stories with already existing subject matter, like Cinderella, are often told the same way just with slightly different circumstances. There is still an evil family member abusing them, they find their prince to wisk them away to happiness and all ends well. Although Goliath still ends in his death, everything in between is different. It doesnt even show much of the soldiers, just Goliath’s every day life in which he does what he enjoys and is normally not bothered. He enjoys simple things like the coolness of the night an appreciates small things like pebbles. He is made more human, not a war hungry warrior who will take on any challenger. Goliath is even made to rea the very lines that are part of the ruse to make him seem unstoppable. Goliath is unfortunately obedient to a flaw, although he protests, he goes to his spot each and says the challenge line and waits. There was a nice balance of dialog in this book. I personally become turned off to a story when there are text walls inside speech bubbles. Here the text was easy to read and spread out enough to where I never felt I had too much to read. Not that I dont like to read text heavy stories, I just can often lose my place and not retain the meaning with too much dialog. Its very show dont tell. There are many panels with no text at all and all you are exposed to is the weight of the situations and the environment. The constant edge of your seat you are constantly on when waiting for David to appear, which you know has to happen at some point. I really thought it was going to end differently, but at the same time I wouldnt want to be any different. It made me value the character so much and then just yanked them away from you.