I am a sucker for comic book adaptations of animated series, because sometimes I just can’t get enough of a certain premise. More often than not, however, I’m disappointed. Most comic book adaptations are inconsequential, because they can’t be allowed to delve too much into continuity, and so there’s usually not much happening, and very little character development to be found.
Gravity Falls: Lost Legends is an important exception. Not only is this graphic novel being released long after the end of the show, meaning it doesn’t have to worry about future continuity, but it’s also written by Alex Hirsch himself, so it’s as canon as it gets. The book is made up of four separate episodes, and while none of them are very important to continuity, they do add character development to a handful of characters, and also adds some new and interesting information. The episodes are as follow:
Face It – Or “The Episode With Pacifica In It”, if you like. Yeah, they went straight to that one. And because it’s probably the most burning question on many fans’ minds, I might as well reassure you at once: Yes, it has Dippifica in it. Not that it makes the ship canon or anything, no, not quite as explicit as that. But besides “Northwest Mansion Mystery”, this story has the most teasing of DipperxPacifica you’re ever going to see in any canon source. I admit that it’s enough makes me happy, but in addition to shipping there’s also some nice, general character development for Pacifica and a decent story here, overall. When Pacifica tries to make a deal with a vanity demon, she and Dipper has to make a trip to Gravity Falls underworld. “Face It” is intense and action-packed enough that it would make a great episode of the show, although the sheer amount of easter eggs is easier to follow in comic format.
Comix Up – This story is a tribute to comic books, and it’s an episode that I suspect Hirsch wanted to make sooner, except it only works in the comic book format. When Soos brings in a bunch of his old comics to the Shack, Stan is suddenly revealed to be a Scrooge who hates comics (there’s a special reason for this, and it becomes an important plot point later), and locks them into Ford’s old chest. The chest is of course magical, and comes back to haunt Stan, trapping him in a comic book. The frame story is poorly drawn, but compensates for it by hilariously going through a lot of different drawing styles once the gang goes into the comic book to save Stan. A freaky manga parody is the definite highlight of the sequence.
If you’re a fan of Wendy or Soos, you might be a bit disappointed; this is the only story they’re in, and they’re not really that important.
Don’t Dimension It – The three first stories in this book all take place during season 2 of the show, more specifically after the introduction of Ford. It’s obvious that Hirsch wanted to explore the twin dynamic between Stan and Ford as much the one between Dipper and Mabel. This story takes place only three days before Dipper and Mabel leaves town, as Ford invites Stan and the kids along to fix the wormholes left around Gravity Falls after the “Weirdmageddon” events. While Ford and Stan are busy arguing about Stan’s caretaker abilities, Mabel, easily distracted as always, falls into a wormhole and ends up in the dimension of lost Mabels. It’s a very Rick & Morty concept, but has enough of that special Gravity Falls humor and quirkiness to make it its own thing. Perhaps most importantly, the story provides Mable with renewed self-insight, making her realize that for all her adorable charm, she’s often been acting like a selfish jerk. Arguably the best written story of the bunch, and the best drawn, too.
The Jersey Devil’s In The Details – Like I said, the book mostly provides character development for the Pines family. So here’s a flashback story from Stan and Ford’s childhood, and obviously mirroring Dipper and Mabel’s “mystery twin” activities, it revolves around the original Pines twins trying to find the fabled Jersey Devil. Not surprisingly, it turns out that they had much of the same dynamics as their great-nephew-and-niece. Focusing less on the supernatural aspects, this story still has a lot of the same delightfully odd humor, not to mention a lot of the feels that Gravity falls has become beloved for.
If these are the last canon Gravity Falls stories we’re ever going to see, then it’s a very decent finish for the saga. However, the last page still opens for the possibility of another season, or some other continuation, somewhere down the line. We can always hope…
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Thank you for listening,
Current Residence: Bergen, Norway
Favourite genre of music: Progressive rock, hard rock or chillout - depending on my mood.
MP3 player of choice: iPhone
Favourite cartoon character: Goo, Wilt (FHfIF), Misery (Ruby Gloom), Mabel (Gravity Falls)
Personal Quote: I am the audience