Gravity Falls: Lost Legends is the first official Gravity Falls comic with new original content, released after the series' end. It was announced at D23 on July 14, 2017, at Alex Hirsch and Daron Nefcy's panel promoting Gravity Falls: Journal 3 and Star and Marco's Guide to Mastering Every Dimension, respectively. On February 15, 2018, the 2nd anniversary of the show's end, Alex Hirsch revealed the cover of Lost Legends in an event known as #PuzzlingPines. The book was released on July 24, 2018, alongside the box set.
The book is presented as a series of stories told by Shmebulock, who was placed under a warlock's curse to say his own name, but every thousand years, he is able to speak coherently in English. He tells the audience four stories and at the end, goes under the warlock’s curse again. He claims there is a big secret in the book.
Pacifica comes by the Mystery Shack to peek at the Journals to see if there's a way to get rid of a wrinkle on her face, as her family’s annual photo shoot is coming up and the looks-obsessed Northwests won’t accept anything less than physical perfection from her. Dipper, who has been tasked with guarding the Journals while Ford runs an errand, tells her the Journals are too dangerous to be used for something so trivial, but she is determined and sneaks a peek at them under the guise of using the bathroom. She summons a demon whose flyer promised to remove any unwanted facial features, but when Mabel walks in on her and has her face stolen in Pacifica’s place it's revealed that his promise of a "flawless" face meant no facial features whatsoever.
With the help of directions from Mabel’s disembodied face, Pacifica and Dipper set off to reunite Mabel’s body parts and follow Mr. What's-His-Face into the The Crawlspace, a literally underground market for the paranormal residents of Gravity Falls. To avoid getting kicked out for being human, they cover themselves in garbage and introduce themselves as Jackie the Elf Bandit and her servant, Troll Boy, which initially works until an argument between the two over Pacifica’s inability to accept the flaws that are a natural part of being human after she buys shady beauty pills with a side effect of spontaneous face explosion while they’re supposed to be searching for Mabel’s face reveals their species.
They are caught and become the subjects of an impromptu auction, but this turns out to be useful for their plans because they are bought by Mr. What's-His-Face, who runs a business in The Crawlspace selling his stolen faces to people wanting new ones.
After a heart-to-heart while being transported to Mr. What’s-His-Face’s base of operations, Dipper and Pacifica confront the demon and demand Mabel’s face back, but he is unaffected by their threats and takes Dipper’s face as well, gloating at having a compete set of twins now. He tells Pacifica that if she allows this to happen he can give her a new, ideal face for eternity, but if she turns him down she’ll grow old and ugly. Pacifica, newly emboldened by her experiences, tosses her face-exploding beauty pills at Mr,What’s-His-Face’s head and sets it on fire.
All three children escape the enraged face-stealer thanks to Mabel’s face and body coordinating a way out that leads them to the Shack’s outhouse and a waiting Ford holding a freeze ray. He congratulates them and says he’ll be taking Mr. What’s-His-Face back to his bunker as a new specimen to study. Pacifica remembers that she’s still covered in garbage with no time to spare before her photo shoot, and panics for a moment before realizing she no longer cares about looking perfect. She attends the shoot as-is, much to her parents’ disgust.
After the conclusion of the story, it cuts back to Shmebulock, who claims to have intercepted texts from Mabel’s phone showing Pacifica texting her under the impression her number is Dipper’s. She asks Dipper not to reveal that they hugged and claims she didn’t really want to hug him anyway, then tells Mabel it was a prank text in all-caps when Mabel reveals her identity and gets excited over the prospect of her brother hugging a girl.
Soos brings a bunch of comic books to the Mystery Shack, livening up a slow day for Dipper, Mabel, and Wendy, but Grunkle Stan says comics are a waste of time for losers and locks them away in Ford's cursed chest, unaware of its nature. In a fourth-wall-breaking twist, Stan finds himself trapped in a comic after refusing to show proper respect for the medium when asked by a malicious narration box following him around due to the curse.
Dipper, Soos, Mabel, Ford and Wendy follow him into the cursed comic book, and enter a world of shifting art styles and genres, but no sign of Stan. They encounter someone who claims to have seen a man resembling Ford when asked, but he is more interested in pulling pranks and letting them chase after him than giving out any useful information, causing the group to chase him across multiple worlds parodying various real-world comics such as Spy vs. Spy, Hellboy, and shoujo manga.
Eventually the characters come across a group of DC/Marvel-style superheroes called the Indestructi-Buddies who are both angry at them and far too powerful to defeat, spelling imminent doom—at least, according to the narration box. Soos manages to break the fourth wall again by realizing that he can interact with the narration boxes, and rewrites the portent of their oncoming death to instead say that they gain superpowers of their own. Due to the nature of the comic world this works, and they have a short battle with the Incredi-Buddies before finally cornering their would-be source on Stan. However, he has one last trick up his sleeve, and sets off a bomb that sends everyone flying in different directions straight out of the story’s panels and into the gutters.
While searching for the others, Soos overhears crying he recognizes as Stan’s, and manages to track him down. When discovered, Stan angrily protests that he wasn’t crying and then reveals that the comic they are in is called Lil’ Stanley, and is, in fact, his own comic he tried to write as a child. He wanted to sell it, but was turned down by publishers for producing something that had far too many swears for children’s media and was also technically a pyramid scheme. After that experience, he gave up on comics, growing bitter towards the entire medium despite secretly still harboring positive feelings for it.
After this confession, the cursed narration box asks if he’s ready to respect comics by calling them to graphic novels, which Stan steadfastly refuses to. Infuriated by his stubbornness, the box decides to kill both Soos and Stan, but they are saved at the last second by Wendy, who cuts through the encroaching darkness with her ax and tells them she remembered that comics are just paper and therefore very easy to cut. The narration box threatens to keep them trapped in the comic forever regardless of what they do, but Mabel steps in with a jar of white-out and tosses it at the box, defeating it and rescuing the group from the cursed comic book.
After being saved, Stan is encouraged to live his childhood dreams and prints a run of Lil’ Stanley to sell on the Mystery Shack’s gift shop. He is at first nervous about how the books will perform and suggests taking them off the shelves before he embarrasses himself, but then a boy picks it up, and, enthralled by the idea of a comic for kids with swear words in it, buys a copy, much to Stan’s shock and delight. Stan is finally able to declare his love of comics.
Don't Dimension It
Shmebulock introduces this story by showing some of the lingering effects from Weirdmageddon: scrambled phone signals near Bill’s statue, miniature rifts in space, and a large chasm that Dipper named "Mabel’s Fault".
The Pines family wander through Gravity Falls to see if there are any dimensional rifts left over. Despite being united as a team now, some issues remain, such as Mabel’s continued blithe carelessness and Stan and Ford sniping at each other over who is the better guardian. Although the mission is dangerous, Mabel has brought Waddles along, and while playing with him she doesn’t notice the rift behind her until it’s too late and she is sucked into the multiverse. She crashes through multiple dimensions, including the Nightmare Realm, before landing in Dimension MAB-3L, a pocket dimension to which lost Mabels are naturally drawn. Here, she finds herself among many different Mabels. She is fascinated by all of her alternate selves, but still wants to return home as quickly as possible—however, when she tells another Mabel this, she finds out that all of the Mabels remain trapped here because they keep getting distracted from the task of escaping by their own immediate desires. Mabel is frustrated until she meets another Mabel who seems both ordinary like her and serious about getting out. The other Mabel asks Mabel for her help distracting Military Expert Mabel so she can steal her flare gun and signal for help in the multiverse, which Mabel is happy to provide.
Meanwhile, Stan and Ford have followed Mabel through the rift, but are not fortunate enough to have ended up in the same dimension as her. They continue their earlier argument about who is the better grunkle before coming across a space trucker, who Stan asks for help with locating Mabel. The trucker responds that he has no interest in helping a criminal, and Stan expresses surprise and mild pride that aliens know about his criminal record before the trucker clarifies that he was talking about Ford, who reluctantly confirms that he committed many crimes across the multiverse in the service of stopping Bill. Stan finds the situation hilarious and suggests that Ford can sit cuffed in the back while he sits up front, which the trucker agrees to.
The two Mabels' plan to steal the flare goes off without a hitch, alerting Stan and Ford to their location. However, when Mabel takes a bathroom break in preparation for her rescue, she finds that the other Mabel has locked her in. This Mabel reveals that she is not a regular Mabel, but the Anti-Mabel: a dangerous criminal who hates everything Mabel stands for and wants to pretend to be her so she can take over her dimension after being exiled from her own. Mabel is upset, but she cannot do anything except watch helplessly as Anti-Mabel does an insultingly bad impression of her and gets picked up and taken away in Mabel’s rightful place. Realizing the mistakes she's made not only in trusting Anti-Mabel but in her life leading up to this point, Mabel rallies the other Mabels to take on Anti-Mabel and send not just herself but all of them home.
As Anti-Mabel acts suspiciously un-Mabellike, Ford is skeptical of her identity, but Stan stubbornly claims he’s just jealous that Stan is the one who picked her out from the crowd of Mabels. Ford pulls his gun on her but she is faster, using Ford’s alien adhesive to pin them in place as she tells them that since they haven’t been fooled she is going to vent them out the airlock instead and let them die in space.
Before she can press the button, Mabel and the rest of the Mabel Army arrive, rescuing Stan and Ford and getting into a giant fight that mortally wounds Military Expert Mabel. Eventually Anti-Mabel manages to disable most of the other Mabels using the adhesive, but Mabel uses her grappling hook to knock the glue gun out of her hands and the two begin a fistfight. Stan and Ford watch from the sidelines, unable to tell which is the real Mabel until Anti-Mabel’s sweater is accidentally pulled off during the fight to reveal a t-shirt that says "I HATE CATS". The Pines trap her in the airlock and shoot her out of it, and then free the other Mabels along with using the alien adhesive to fix Military Expert Mabel’s wounds.
The trucker drops them off at the rift leading back to their dimension as the other Mabels thank them for everything they’ve done and express excitement that they too will soon be going home. Stan and Ford admit that they are both horrible guardians, and Mabel tells them they should focus on taking care of each other instead. Upon their return, the grunkles seal the rift while Mabel apologizes to Dipper for her selfishness and promises to be a better sister, which she demonstrates by giving him a blue journal with a pine tree on it she picked up from Mabipper, a fusion of her and Dipper, back in Dimension MAB-3L. The family is reunited and walks off into the sunset.
Pines Bros Mystery
This story is also known as The Pines Boys in: The Jersey Devil’s in the Details on its title page.
Sometime in the 1960s (or "1960-something"), young Stan and Ford are excited to spend the whole summer having adventures and working on their new boat, the Stan-O-War, but their dreams are quickly dashed when Stan is accused of stealing Filbrick's gold chain and told he will be grounded for the entire summer. Ford, wanting to spend time with Stan over the summer, defends Stan, saying that they've been together all day. They cut a deal with their father that if they can find the true culprit within 24 hours that will prove Stan’s innocence, but otherwise he will be grounded.
Ford analyzes the clues surrounding the crime scene and comes to the conclusion hat the chain was stolen by the Jersey Devil, and the two boys set off in search of the cryptid. While stocking up on adventuring supplies they discover Shanklin the Stab Possum, a possum Stan ties a knife to and allows to nest in his pants. They also meet the Sibling Brothers, snooty mystery-solvers who do not appreciate the freakish Pines brothers encroaching on their territory and tell them as much. After being insulted, Stan and Ford head down to the carnival to look for more clues, where they are at first rebuffed by the circus freaks until Ford shows them his own six fingers, whereupon they allow the boys to view a map of the Jersey Devil’s hideout tattooed onto the back of one of the performers.
This leads them to the nearby lighthouse, but they aren’t allowed inside to investigate further due to Stan’s delinquent reputation. To make matters worse, they discover the Siblings Brothers are also on the same trail as them, and the combination makes Stan so angry that he accidentally pushes the brothers off a sand dune. Believing them to be dead, the Pines decide to make the best of it and steal their clothes to impersonate them. They succeed and discover the path to the Jersey Devil’s cave.
As they are exploring the cave, Shanklin escapes Stan’s pants and runs off with their flashlight as Stan runs after him, leaving Ford alone in the dark. There, he is discovered by the bedraggled and angry, but alive, Sibling Brothers, who present him with photographic proof that Stan is the one who stole the chain all along. Ford, who had just told Stan he was a good kid at heart and covered for him in front of their father, is saddened and confused why Stan would do such a thing and then lie to him about it. The Sibling Brothers tell Ford the Jersey Devil isn’t real and Stan used it to cover for his crimes, immediately before Stan returns with the flashlight, Shanklin, and the Jersey Devil.
All four boys flee, but when Stan and Ford make it to safety Ford demands to know the reasons behind Stan’s actions. Stan tearfully confesses that he did take the gold chain, but only because he wanted to customize it for Father’s Day in the hopes of earning their dad’s approval for once, and he panicked when he accidentally broke the glass. Before Ford can reply, the Jersey Devil shows up again, but is captured by the Sibling Brothers, who give Ford the chance of taking credit for finding the monster if he gives them the pictures of Stan stealing the chain back so they can collect the reward—otherwise, they’ll frame both Pines twins for the theft. Ford allows Shanklin to attack the brothers and also free the Jersey Devil rather than betray his own brother, and after the humiliated Sibling Brothers call them freaks they are set upon by the circus folk as Stan and Ford head home. They are then grounded for the summer, but they find it isn’t so bad as they have each other.
The story ends with a shot of present-day Stan and Ford on the Stan-O-War II preparing to set sail, and a short ballad detailing some of their misadventures on the seas.
The Barnes & Noble version of the book has an extra chapter, titled Soos's Comic Corner, narrated by Soos. It includes 16 extra pages of behind the scenes sketches and notes, detailing many of the pages and exploring secrets within them.
- See: List of cryptograms
Some cryptograms form a message, “TO FIND A SPIDER SEARCH THE WEB.” The table of contents provides the page.
References to the series
- Dipper's original hat that he lost to a gnome in "Tourist Trapped" is on one of Shmebulock's bookshelves.
- There is a fourth journal on Shmebulock's bookshelf.
- There are a number of references in The Crawlspace.
- A former member of the Blind Eye Society is seen selling memory canisters.
- The Hand Witch is seen selling hands.
- A pirate Lilliputtian is seen stealing an egg from a question quail that is mentioned in Journal 3.
- A plaidypus and a geodite, which are also mentioned in the journal, appear as well.
- A crow can be seen holding the Mystic Amulet used by Gideon in "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel."
- The gnome that was selling fairy dust in "The Last Mabelcorn" can be seen selling some to a unicorn.
- The candy monster can be seen chewing on a banner.
- One of the wanted posters has a silhouette of Wax Larry King.
- Some Eye-Bats can be seen flying around.
- A Gremloblin can be seen passing by the barrels that Dipper and Pacifica are hiding behind.
- Dipper frustratedly states that he's never kissed anyone before, referencing the "reverse CPR" scene from "The Deep End."
- Dipper references the events of "Northwest Mansion Mystery."
- Dipper uses the President's Key that he got from Quentin Trembley in "Irrational Treasure."
- Some of the faces seen in Mr. What's-His-Face's collection include Blind Ivan, the Summerween Trickster's mask, Deputy Durland, and Alex Hirsch.
- In the flashback, young Pacifica has a small stuffed llama, referencing her Zodiac symbol.
"Don't Dimension It"
- Mabel references the ending of "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future."
- The finger monster that attacks Mabel in the Nightmare Realm resembles the description of the "60-foot ball of fingers and teeth" that Bill sicced on Ford when he first arrived in there which is mentioned in Journal 3.
- 8 Ball and Keyhole make a cameo when Mabel falls through dimentions, since them, like all of the beings that Bill brought to Gravity Falls during Weirdmageddon were sucked back when Stan killed him. They stand next to a statue that "HE WAS THE WORST", implying that none of them actually liked Bill. Also, 8 Ball's head has been healed, since the last time, his head was petrified by Wendy.
- The interdimensional trucker brings up Ford's criminal record across the multiverse as described in Journal 3.
- One of the dimensions that the trucker brings up is Lottocron Nine, which is where Ford got his infinity-sided die.
- The trucker also has a pair of fuzzy infinity-sided dice hanging from his rear-view mirror.
- One of the dimensions that the trucker brings up is Lottocron Nine, which is where Ford got his infinity-sided die.
- The pine tree journal that Mabel gives to Dipper, which she got from an alternate version of herself called Mabipper, resembles the one that Dipper mentions in Journal 3.
"Pines Bros Mystery/Jersey Devil's in the Details."
- Stan and Ford come across a pair called The Sibling Brothers.
- Some of the items seen in the Pines Pawns shop include Stan's fez, the painting hanging in the attic of the Mystery Shack, and the scuba helmet in the shack's gift shop.
- A ticket stub from Grandpa the Kid can be seen in Stanley's old scrapbook.
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- Lost Legends was originally listed as XQWLWOHG PBVWHUB ERRN (which decodes to UNTITLED MYSTERY BOOK using the Caesar cipher) on Amazon Canada.
- The front cover was revealed via a jigsaw puzzle, made of pine trees (the same style as seen on Dipper's hat), piece by piece on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
- A version of Mabel resembling the character Morty from the Adult Swim series Rick and Morty is seen in the background of "Don’t Dimension It." In the Rick and Morty mobile game, "Pocket Mortys," there is a Morty who resembles Mabel Pines named "Girl Morty," who is very similar in appearance to the "Morty Mabel" seen in Lost Legends.
- The book contains a secret code that leads to the secret site: The Shmeb you unlocked, which contains more information on various characters and small comics.
- In one of the small comics what Dipper says can be decoded and comes out as "Cipher Lives", which is most likely a reference to the possible return of Bill Cipher.
- One of the files tells us that after the summer Tate McGucket is living with his father, Old Man McGucket, at Northwest Manor (now renamed McGucket's Hootenanny Hut).
- It also reveals that his mother's name is Emma-May Dixon, formerly Emma-May McGucket.
- In the story "Face It" a former member of the Blind Eye Society is seen selling memory canisters belonging to various characters from the show.
- These characters include Tad Strange, Tambry, Abuelita and Gideon Gleeful.
- Next to Gideon's canister, there is a tube labelled "Memories Rick S." This is likely a reference to Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty who was played by Justin Roiland.
- There is also a canister labelled "Mrs. Corduroy," which most likely refers to Wendy Corduroy's unseen mother.
- In "Face It", there is a wanted poster with the silhouette of the character Eda from the Disney Channel series The Owl House. What makes this reference so interesting, is that Lost Legends was made and released two years before The Owl House was released.
- In Journal 1, there's a page about the "Boiling Isles", which is where the events of The Owl House take place.
- Eda's staff can be seen in the backgrounds of the crawlspace.
- In "Face It", there is a face in Mr. What's-His-Face that closely resembles the screaming character from famous artist Edvard Munch's painting, "The Scream."
- In "Face It", Pacifica lies that her name is "Jackie the Elf-Bandit" to decrease the attention from what appears to be an ogre. This name may be a reference to the person who voices Pacifica, Jackie Buscarino.
- In "Face It", the journal Mabel is reading shows a page that is titled, "Defense of the Dark Warts", most likely a reference to J. K. Rowling's series, Harry Potter, as Harry has a class named "Defense Against the Dark Arts". As below it is two words saying, "Expecto Psoriasis" likely derived from Harry's spell to defend against dementors, "Expecto Patronum".
- Another reference to Harry Potter may be that in the dimension MAB-3L, there is a Mabel standing with their back to the viewer (above the Mabel that looks like Pac-Man) with the Hogwart's House, Gryffinfor's, colors (red and gold). In the Barnes & Nobel edition, it is stated that that Mabel's name is Gryffindabel.
- In "Face It", a face that looks a lot like Morty from Rick and Morty appears on Mr. What's-His-Face's wall.
- The comic contains several suggestive elements that were not permitted in the TV series. Among these are:
- The use of more explicit words like "Hell" or God's name in vain in phrases such as "Oh my God", and some censored swearing.
- Direct references to alcohol.
- More suggestive themes, such as a character wearing a shirt with the semi-vulgar phrase "That's what she said" on it.
- More direct cultural references, such as direct mentions of the comic character Marmaduke and the comic artist Stan Lee and a cameo from the pop culture character Slender Man. Stan also mentions that he also got into a fistfight with Stan Lee in 1973.
- The comic contains some references to the Gravity Falls fandom.
- In the background of Schmebulock's library, there's a board reading "Shermie?", under which it says in cipher "age paradox?" and "time travel conspiracy?" which is in reference to the confusion about the baby in "A Tale of Two Stans" and its debate on the identity as Shermie due to the timeline.
- There's also a fourth journal in the library under Dipper's original hat. Referencing the idea that there are more than 3 journals.
- In "Face It" a creature resembling Slender Man makes an appearance trying to find money to buy Dipper and Pacifica. This is a reference to the urban legend that Slender Man appeared in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" when it was, in fact, a result of photoshop.
- In Journal 1 there is a page on "Paranormal Rashes", and depicts a rash that looks like Bill and is called, "Zodiacne". This is in reference to fan art depicting an adult Dipper having a tattoo of the Zodiac. Which was disproven by Hirsch himself when he said that Mabel is the most likely to get a tattoo. Which was also referenced in "Don't Dimension It" by Military Expert Mabel's 6-18 tattoo.
- Stanbel in "Don't Dimension It" originated as a drawing on Hirsch's twitter and was jokingly drawn to "give you nightmares".
- In "Comix Up", when Soos is in the margins, he sees the Disney label and notes how the stylized "D" looks like a "G".
- In some of the foreign releases, the creature that resembles Slenderman's appearance in "Face It" was altered by recoloring the suit red and giving him facial features like a mouth. Possibly due to copyright issues in certain foreign countries.
- On one of the first pages of the book, there is a code in Caesar cipher that when decoded states, "A fandom's work is never done/So here's some tales just for fun/You wanted more?/You got your wish!/Don't stress—it's only canon-ish." This has been interpreted by many as possibly hinting that the stories in lost Legends are not to be taken seriously and that fans can decide for themselves whether or not a story in the book is canon to the show or not.
- During "Comix Up", on the first panel of the Grimdark Chronicles section, symbols on the gravestones translate to "BILL LIVES" using Bill's Substitution Cipher.
- Chronologically, the four stories in Lost Legends occur as follows:
- Pine Bros Mystery takes place in the early-to-mid 1960s, during Stan and Ford's childhood, around 50 years before the main events of Gravity Falls in the summer of 2012.
- Face It and Comix Up both take place in the second half of Season 2, sometime among the episodes set between "A Tale of Two Stans" (sometime in August 2012) and "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future" (August 22nd), as evidenced by Ford being present, whilst Weirdmageddon has yet to begin. The exact order or placement of the two stories in this time is unclear, though.
- Don't Dimension It takes place during the final act of the episode "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls," in the week between Weirdmageddon ending (August 25th) and Dipper and Mabel's 13th birthday (August 31st), as noted by a direct mention of the preceding event.