This month we’re pushing the envelope all the way to warp speed to bring you some of the best space-based/alternate universe storytelling that we could find on the indie scene! Get immersed in the conundrums of time travel, the conflict of saving the world while dying of an alien disease, and the adventure of an eight-part space opera that’s worth every installment. No matter what you dive into in this issue, we hope you’ll enjoy the ride.
All Indie. All Awesome.
EXIT LOG: Story by Geoffrey Fletcher (Writer of PRECIOUS) and Chris Cornwell/ Directed by Gary Freedman/The Glue Society
While idling away as part of the maintenance crew on a small spacecraft, two women experience the downside of time travel. Exit Log is barely six minutes long, but the filmmakers waste no time setting up a premise that will have your mind extrapolating the possibilities before the story even gets going. The question of what YOU would do in their situation will linger…
UNCANNY VALLEY: BY 3DAR PRODUCTIONS / ANIMATION DIRECTOR: FERNANDO MALDONADO
Uncanny Valley is a play on the outstandingly popular video game, Call of Duty with an otherworldy/alien twist. At first, you might wonder what this movie has to do with our space opera theme, but like any good indie film, the more you get into it, the more you’ll see how much this story pushes the boundaries of space, time and the validity of how we define the known universe. We don’t believe in spoilers so you’re just gonna have to take this acid trip for yourself.
Now we’re cooking with super-charged plasma. Space is where I live, or at least I would if we could ever get that colony on the Moon, hell I’d settle for a jetpack but that’s for another post. This month’s about comics that deal with the final frontier.
The first jump to lightspeed is with The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury: Time Runs Out, this series has been collected so you can get a solid dose of Young Miranda, as she and her superheroic family protect the galaxy from the forces of evil. Writer Brandon Thomas has crafted a light-hearted tale of a super genius with a terrible burden, she’s dying of an alien disease. Handling the art is Lee Ferguson, who brings Miranda and company to life with a clean illustrative style, crafting an amazing universe for our heroine to explore and defend.
Our third warp bubble hops us across the Atlantic to get Lost in Space. This anthology from 2014 is a collection of six winning entries from a contest sponsored by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in collaboration with Titan Comics. Each story is made in a different style and tone, with the only common thread being that the story’s main character(s) are, you guessed it, lost in space. But where that awful movie remake was bad, these shorts are actually cool. The stories in Lost in Space range from sitcom shtick to deep philosophical exposition on the point of living, and art to match the tone of that story.
Next through the stargate is Foreign:147 Days-Modern Savages by Alitha Martinez. This slight divergence from the comic list is a hybrid novel, mostly prose, with a bunch of illustrations and a few comic pages, Foreign is filled with a complex cast of characters in a mashup of Robotech and Mission Impossible with hints of the X-Files. Martinez, who you might know primarily as an artist for Marvel Comics, builds a vivid universe that is both familiar and new. If you love techno-babble mixed with military jargon, Foreign is a book to look for online or if you live in the NYC area, most conventions.
The last ship to engage its star drive in my deep space convoy is Orphelins: Petits Soldats (Orphans: Small Soldiers), it’s also the hardest because it was written in French, and that’s ok. This book does what a great comic is supposed to do, tell a story with pictures. The creative team of Roberto Recchioni (writer) and Emiliano Mammucari (artist) found a way to get me, a person who struggled with high school french, a really long time ago, to follow along and enjoy the story of an Earth recovering from a brutal attack that destroys Paris and the kids that survived who become a super badass combat unit known as the Orphelins. If you’re into space/military shows like SG-1 or Battlestar Galactica, with a dash of teen angst, you’ll be happy to know the first book in this series is free on Comixology, go download it RFN (Right Fracking Now).
……..and because George Carmona LOVES stories set in outer space, he could NOT resist giving you just a few extra stops on the Kessel Run. Enjoy!
- Tuskegee Heirs – to combat alien invaders a secret task force of young aces is given advanced mecha to bring the fight to them.
- Matty’s Rocket – this alt-Earth story explores the story of Matty as she becomes the first person in space. Oh yeah, did we mention that the protagonist is a Black woman in the 40s? Pretty out there.
- The Rippers – travel deep space with this band of interplanetary space bounty hunters. Until next time, hailing frequencies closed.
Edison Moody is a one of a kind artist – mixing brush strokes that move from a dream-like haze to razor sharp precision, sometimes within the same subject. But no matter the approach, his technique is always in service of creating a magnificent landscape that transports the viewer to the edge of their imagination. Check out more of his portfolio, here.
War & Mir by Minister Faust What if a federation of planets already existed in our solar system? What if Earth was the only planet that didn’t know about it? What if that was entirely by well-enforced design? And what if that arrangement was suddenly blown wide open? Minister Faust is no stranger to Narazu. These books have been described as “The Phantom Menace done right!” Action, adventure, space-faring, and more. Volumes 1 and 2 are available now.
Dark Universe, edited by Milton Davis, is an intriguing anthology of space adventure and world-building spanning the rise and fall of Earth’s first galactic power, the Cassad Empire. What makes this stand out is you get the huge battles, political intrigue, but you also get the smaller, more personal glimpses of life between star systems at war, which makes this collection stick with you after “The End.”
The Gwen7Saga by April Adams is a science fiction novel in the purest tradition of the classic space opera. Humans have colonized the farthest reaches of space through an alliance with mechanical dragons that serve as the ultimate fighting machine in the universe. But when a race of clones decides to assert their independence, the delicate peace that binds each world together is lost, leading to a chaos that threatens the very meaning of what it is to be human. April Adams handles each layer of this intricate story so effortlessly that you won’t even notice how deep you’ve fallen until it’s too late to get out. You also won’t regret it. Check out the first book here.