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Forming

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Since the dawn of history, we have sought to understand our existence through creationist fables of omnipotent deities and mythical creatures. Jesse Moynihan takes these fifty thousand years of socio-religious postulation and throws them in the blender to create one epic—and irreverent—battle royal between alien gods, ancient Greek titans, interplanetary assassin droids, a Since the dawn of history, we have sought to understand our existence through creationist fables of omnipotent deities and mythical creatures. Jesse Moynihan takes these fifty thousand years of socio-religious postulation and throws them in the blender to create one epic—and irreverent—battle royal between alien gods, ancient Greek titans, interplanetary assassin droids, and humanity itself. An eon-spanning comedy, Forming details the spawning of worlds and the trajectory of consciousness on Earth. The first in a trilogy of books, Nobrow collects the first volume of Moynihan's acclaimed webcomic in a specially designed graphic novel with a foil debossed cloth spine.


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Since the dawn of history, we have sought to understand our existence through creationist fables of omnipotent deities and mythical creatures. Jesse Moynihan takes these fifty thousand years of socio-religious postulation and throws them in the blender to create one epic—and irreverent—battle royal between alien gods, ancient Greek titans, interplanetary assassin droids, a Since the dawn of history, we have sought to understand our existence through creationist fables of omnipotent deities and mythical creatures. Jesse Moynihan takes these fifty thousand years of socio-religious postulation and throws them in the blender to create one epic—and irreverent—battle royal between alien gods, ancient Greek titans, interplanetary assassin droids, and humanity itself. An eon-spanning comedy, Forming details the spawning of worlds and the trajectory of consciousness on Earth. The first in a trilogy of books, Nobrow collects the first volume of Moynihan's acclaimed webcomic in a specially designed graphic novel with a foil debossed cloth spine.

30 review for Forming

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    Crude yet complex, trashy yet sophisticated, mundane yet imaginative, childlike yet gory, funny yet political, silly yet relevant, Forming is definitely one of the stranger creation stories out there. Like Jesse Jacobs' more recent By This Shall You Know Him, it is the blasphemous, trippy, twisted type of creation narrative - the type I'd recommend to anybody interested in alternative comics of the more outrageous variety. At the same time, though, Forming can also be read as a surprisingly earn Crude yet complex, trashy yet sophisticated, mundane yet imaginative, childlike yet gory, funny yet political, silly yet relevant, Forming is definitely one of the stranger creation stories out there. Like Jesse Jacobs' more recent By This Shall You Know Him, it is the blasphemous, trippy, twisted type of creation narrative - the type I'd recommend to anybody interested in alternative comics of the more outrageous variety. At the same time, though, Forming can also be read as a surprisingly earnest capitalism critique... and as many other things, I suppose.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jesse A

    I'm not 100% sure about my feelings on this one. Damn weird!

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Really well produced book from Nobrow Press, a crazy ambitious story or series of interlocking stories about the whole of human history, and specifically evolution, with mythology as one of its central concerns, though it's also highly possible he's poking fun at our serious concern with origin stories and our need for serious mythologizing in those. Also there are other elements in the mix: sci fi, fantasy, crazy human interactions, "adult content," lots of color and experimentation and humor. Really well produced book from Nobrow Press, a crazy ambitious story or series of interlocking stories about the whole of human history, and specifically evolution, with mythology as one of its central concerns, though it's also highly possible he's poking fun at our serious concern with origin stories and our need for serious mythologizing in those. Also there are other elements in the mix: sci fi, fantasy, crazy human interactions, "adult content," lots of color and experimentation and humor. This has both "sophisticated" and I guess what I would call "alternative" elements (what do I even mean by such distinctions?!). . . by which I guess I mean there are surprises in it, in that it feels conceptually ambitious, it's in the "art comics" camp, and then it's also at turns grungy and sort of crude (in both the drawing style and some of the sophomoric interactions) in sometimes pretty funny ways. Seems like a fine and original mix.

  4. 4 out of 5

    zxvasdf

    This is the true story of Humankind, the one from which all religious tomes shy away. Nobody wants to admit man was created by foul-mouthed beings not of earth. Nobody wants to believe we were subjugated and filthy, exactly formed in the emotional, if not physical, likeness of our unwitting creators. The Forming is a book written and drawn by a latter-day shaman whose genius brings him perilously close to the realm accepted by the mainstream as madness. It tells us our gods were as crappy as we This is the true story of Humankind, the one from which all religious tomes shy away. Nobody wants to admit man was created by foul-mouthed beings not of earth. Nobody wants to believe we were subjugated and filthy, exactly formed in the emotional, if not physical, likeness of our unwitting creators. The Forming is a book written and drawn by a latter-day shaman whose genius brings him perilously close to the realm accepted by the mainstream as madness. It tells us our gods were as crappy as we are now, and that a lesson learned is a lesson learned; it's also a mistake doomed to be repeated.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Vacca

    A batshit cosmology of the third planet from the sun featuring a pantheon comprised of transgender aliens with serious kung-fu skills, invisible gnome spirits, incestuous demi-gods, freakish arch-angels, mind-melting monkey gurus, and thousands of years worth of humans to toy with. A completely irreverent and lewd tapestry of LSD-laced mythology. A rip-roaring hoot packed with foul language, scatological delights and other low-brow laughs raised to the heights of cosmic importance. A gold mine o A batshit cosmology of the third planet from the sun featuring a pantheon comprised of transgender aliens with serious kung-fu skills, invisible gnome spirits, incestuous demi-gods, freakish arch-angels, mind-melting monkey gurus, and thousands of years worth of humans to toy with. A completely irreverent and lewd tapestry of LSD-laced mythology. A rip-roaring hoot packed with foul language, scatological delights and other low-brow laughs raised to the heights of cosmic importance. A gold mine of psychedelic sequential art held together with an irresistibly insane inventiveness. Can't wait to read the next volume.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Crude, blasphemous & scatological meets metaphysical, this ongoing project is one of the most original pieces of contemporary anything going on anywhere. Did you know comics are where it's at? A new golden age is upon us. Forming is but one example that this new medium is blowing open new realms of expression on a pretty much daily basis. I imagine being a comics creator right now is much like being a short story writer in the 20's was, or a movie director in the days of Chaplin. The medium is f Crude, blasphemous & scatological meets metaphysical, this ongoing project is one of the most original pieces of contemporary anything going on anywhere. Did you know comics are where it's at? A new golden age is upon us. Forming is but one example that this new medium is blowing open new realms of expression on a pretty much daily basis. I imagine being a comics creator right now is much like being a short story writer in the 20's was, or a movie director in the days of Chaplin. The medium is fresh, and the doors of what can be done just got blown wide open, and the artists know it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Callum McAllister

    Weird as fuck and full of dumb jokes. I loved it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sydney S

    My brother would hate that I rated this full stars because he calls it my “Urban Outfitters book,” but hear me out. He’s right in that it looks like a book you might find at the front of a trendy-type rich-art-kid store, but he’s wrong in judging it before reading it. This book is an original piece of madness. I own the hardback and, aesthetically, it is one of my favorites, but it’s so weird that I feel like some people will be put off immediately. And you know what I say to that? That’s okay! My brother would hate that I rated this full stars because he calls it my “Urban Outfitters book,” but hear me out. He’s right in that it looks like a book you might find at the front of a trendy-type rich-art-kid store, but he’s wrong in judging it before reading it. This book is an original piece of madness. I own the hardback and, aesthetically, it is one of my favorites, but it’s so weird that I feel like some people will be put off immediately. And you know what I say to that? That’s okay! It’s definitely not for everyone, but man do I love it. The art is unlike anything I’ve seen in any other sequential art book. I thought, “Hey, I could draw that,” but then I tried drawing a panel and quickly realized I could not. So that’s part of the charm. The other part is the absolutely absurd humor in this book. I'd definitely rate this R if it were a movie, so beware if you're thinking about giving this to your youngins. There’re a few pages that always make me laugh, but the whole first book is an incredible achievement of innovation.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love the art and the imagination, and all of Jesse Moynihan's other stuff really tickles me, but Forming mostly sucks. It's a tedious joke ("ha ha, fuck you pussy shit dick faggot") overplayed to the max. There are some funny gags, and I do love how imaginative it is visually and narratively, but it's stupid. Really goddamn stupid. It's smarter than other shock-value scum-humor indie comics, but that's a really low bar. I love the art and the imagination, and all of Jesse Moynihan's other stuff really tickles me, but Forming mostly sucks. It's a tedious joke ("ha ha, fuck you pussy shit dick faggot") overplayed to the max. There are some funny gags, and I do love how imaginative it is visually and narratively, but it's stupid. Really goddamn stupid. It's smarter than other shock-value scum-humor indie comics, but that's a really low bar.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    I wanted to like this action-adventure turned in on itself (and space outfits the same) parodic yet with at least a touch of reverence(?) conversation with creation myths. I wanted to and I wanted to and mostly I was bored. Ah well. I just watched his short animation "Manly" and enjoyed that more in some ways. Something about the humor and sensibility just not for me. I will probably check out out a bit more of his work and see if I can connect with it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Now I understand why every civilization has its own myth.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Boyd

    A very unusual comic--somewhat crudely drawn with vivid colors, it tells the story of an edenic Earth (humans could comminicate with animals telepathically and lived in utter harmony with nature) that is invaded by powerful, technologically sophisticated aliens. these aliens are like gods and have the names of old gods (Mithras is the primary baddie). Mithras mates with a human called Gaia and has a series of mutant children who all have names of Titans from Greek mythology. Meanwhile in Canaan, A very unusual comic--somewhat crudely drawn with vivid colors, it tells the story of an edenic Earth (humans could comminicate with animals telepathically and lived in utter harmony with nature) that is invaded by powerful, technologically sophisticated aliens. these aliens are like gods and have the names of old gods (Mithras is the primary baddie). Mithras mates with a human called Gaia and has a series of mutant children who all have names of Titans from Greek mythology. Meanwhile in Canaan, other sleazy aliens have landed where Adam and Eve are living as pre-lapsarian telepathic humans. They are lead astray by a group of techno-gods lead by Serapis. This is the first volume of a series that Moynihan is publishing online. Briefly, it reminds me of three things. First is Ulysse by Jacques Lob and Georges Pichard. This french comic from the 70s (which was translated into English I think by Heavy Metal) posited that the Gods who were impeding Ulysses from returning home were in fact technologically (if not morally) superior beings. The cyclops is a robot, for example. The other thing it reminds me of are the "space" books by Doris Lessing. In them, three highly sophisticated civilizations are trying to affect events on Earth has humanity evolves. Two are allied and are basically good, while one is intent on having humanity destroy itself (lest it develop into a rival). The myths and fairy-tales of humanity can be explained by the interventions of these planets. Finally, Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light is a science fiction novel where very advanced humans set up a pre-industrial world where they will be seen as gods--specifically as members of the Hindu pantheon. If there is a genre of tencho-gods meddling with humans, Forming is a worthy addition to it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Yet another book with excellent production from UK publishing outfit Nobrow. The books Nobrow puts out are so nice they're pretty much worth buying no matter what the inside is like. Moynihan's work has always had plenty of humorous moments, and this book continues that while adding some beautiful color artwork. I think it's a prime example of a new kind of genre - the kind of comics that include CF's Powr Mastrs and Brian Chippendale's If 'n Oof. I guess there's a few characteristics that tend Yet another book with excellent production from UK publishing outfit Nobrow. The books Nobrow puts out are so nice they're pretty much worth buying no matter what the inside is like. Moynihan's work has always had plenty of humorous moments, and this book continues that while adding some beautiful color artwork. I think it's a prime example of a new kind of genre - the kind of comics that include CF's Powr Mastrs and Brian Chippendale's If 'n Oof. I guess there's a few characteristics that tend to run through these works: - mostly Fantasy but with elements of Sci Fi - quirky main characters, who tend to be selfish, immature or Id driven - extensive use/creation of mythology relating to supernatural or magical powers, mysticism, etc. - narrative usually involves a journey, overthrowing some foreign/alien ruling power - lots of cartoonish violent action - adult content - surrealist imagery or action - formal experimentation of comics form I don't know, something like that. Anyway, "Forming" is a pretty good example of the genre, entertaining and beautiful to look at. I want to try and think of a name for this genre, though. It makes me want to draw a book like this, but I'm going to use the excuse that I need to wait until the genre has a name.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jon Shanks

    Wonderfully weird and wacky story that seems to blend together mythologies with sci-fi and a great deal of artistic licence. Funny, crude, silly and a little confusing at times with the storyline and timeline (the family tree at the start of the book is handy for referring back to). Overall a very entertaining and enjoyable book with just a couple of minor issues: 1. t seems to stop mid-story without so much as a "To be continued" as if the writer/artist had the story all together and decided to Wonderfully weird and wacky story that seems to blend together mythologies with sci-fi and a great deal of artistic licence. Funny, crude, silly and a little confusing at times with the storyline and timeline (the family tree at the start of the book is handy for referring back to). Overall a very entertaining and enjoyable book with just a couple of minor issues: 1. t seems to stop mid-story without so much as a "To be continued" as if the writer/artist had the story all together and decided to cut off the volume at a certain age number. Seriously, I turned the page expecting more, but that was it! Guess I'll have to buy volume 2 if I want more. Speaking of volumes, issue to is the size & cost, both if which are somewhat excessive for what it is.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Derek Royal

    A fun read, with both sophisticated storytelling and (more notably) a great sense of humor. We were planning on interviewing Moynahan on the podcast, but it never worked out. That's unfortunate, as I'd like to talk with the mind that created this whacked out creation narrative. But because we couldn't do the interview, we'll include the latest installment, Forming II, in our publisher spotlight on recent Nobrow books.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamey

    Adventure Time, a kaleidoscope, the Bible, Zeus, and a 20-something barista walk into a bathhouse and "do it". Their offspring is Forming, a playful, bold, and visually mesmerizing retelling of the origins of Earth, humanity, and the cosmos. Really funny and addictive, and readable in an hour or two. Has mad replay value.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ser

    A great example of what a compelling comic should do: exhilarating dialogues, melancholic drifts, mindblowing scenarios, a plot that needs to be unraveled. All is drawn in a unique and rigorous art style and the narration doesnt fear to repeat elements throughout the action, conferring movement to the environment and a spooky rhythm to all the crazy dialogues in the book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katie J Smyza

    If you enjoy metaphysics, origin myths, science fiction, and dick jokes, this is the book for you. I laughed out loud several times, and enjoyed recognizing mythical tropes and in-jokes. Highly recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric T. Voigt

    This has a massive array of rich colors. Pretty awesome implied motion, tiny gestures and bombastic fight-sequences alike almost convincing me the panels were capturing actual movement. Impressively casual combination of sci-fi, fantasy, and irreverence. Totally goofy most of the time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lazaros Kalogirou

    Hillarious, philosophical, entertaining, artistic...I loved it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Schweitzer

    The roughness of the illustrations grew on me ( it's quite painterly actually) and some of the dialogue is hilarious. It's fun, but not great.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Floyd

    an amalgamation of creation theories rolled into one. Funny but sometimes hard to follow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mateen Mahboubi

    Colourful with wild art and a story that I couldn't follow (I'm not sure if you're supposed to try). Moynihan provides us with an alternate-alternate birth of Earth/man story full of everything you can imagine. It left me scratching my head most of the way through but once I gave up trying to decipher it, I was able to enjoy the absurd ride.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Blair Gordon

    Without a book mark I kept losing my place which was to my advantage because I got to read pages over and over again. At first glance it looks like wild nonsense but taking some time to ponder its like yeah how are we so sure there weren’t cotton candy wind giants on earth at the same time as the dinos? Can’t wait to read the second one.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chloe H.

    Like all good stoner art, "Forming" walks a thin line between brilliance and stupidity. I really liked Volume 1, and found myself laughing out loud at some of the absurd humor. Volume 2 is at once more convoluted and less likable, so I probably won't pursue volume 3.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Giovanni Gregory

    A delicacy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    Weird. Sometimes incomprehensible. Very often very funny. On to part II.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tina Tadic

    i find it so hard to rate this as i quite like the art style but was annoyed by the juvenile humour too many times

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn

    Actual Rating: 3.5/5 stars

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ollie

    Calling Forming crude but in depth is a bit of an understatement, and since the subject matter of the book is to mix every theory of origin imaginable into one primordial soup of ancestry, it's only fitting that we need every adjective imaginable to describe it. Every adjective except "bland." Forming is gorgeous, crude, relentless, deep, celestial, sophisticated, hilarious, touching, and stunning all rolled into one. I'm worried about what Jesse Moynihan has going on in his noggin to create wor Calling Forming crude but in depth is a bit of an understatement, and since the subject matter of the book is to mix every theory of origin imaginable into one primordial soup of ancestry, it's only fitting that we need every adjective imaginable to describe it. Every adjective except "bland." Forming is gorgeous, crude, relentless, deep, celestial, sophisticated, hilarious, touching, and stunning all rolled into one. I'm worried about what Jesse Moynihan has going on in his noggin to create work like this (not to mention his probably unhealthy obsession with jizz). As I read both volumes in one go, let's review them together, shall we? At the surface, Forming is about the creation of the universe and modern earthly civilization with the help of countless gods, who are more colonizers than benevolent beings. As Earth gets populated by some truly jacked up aliens, their otherworldly influence distorts the order of things. One of the problems, of course, is that the invading forces don't seem to like each other, and Earth gets caught up in the ensuing madness. And what madness it is: Greek figures, biblical figures, alien gods (some hermaphroditic), and robots as ruthless as they are bloodthirsty. I guess these aliens haven't heard about the primary directive. And as if the plethora of figures isn't enough (the family tree included with each book is a welcome addition), the story is equal parts unpredictable and amazing (I still have NO CLUE where the story is going having read the books twice), not to mention absolutely hilarious at times. This is mostly due to the dialogue that Moynihan juxtaposes with seemingly more evolved and sophisticated beings, and more than once I had to put down the books and wipe tears from my eyes. So, Forming seems like a creative mess (fitting, since we're dealing with a messy topic here), but one that's so unique and put together so well that it's hard to stop reading or even look away. And as far as the packaging is concerned, Forming is collected in oversized hardcovers (which does the art a great favor), decorated with foil lettering and embossing, and a cloth spine. This book belongs in the libraries of ancient earth. I normally only reserve hyperbolic expression when dealing with the works of Jesse Jacobs, but Jesse Moynihan has earned it here: my mind is blown.

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