- Posted by Johanna on June 3, 2009 at 10:10 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
- CREDITS: by Tara Tallan
- PUBLISHER: Helikon Comics; $14.95 US
This first collection of the Galaxion webcomic is a space soap opera, the story of an exploration ship caught up in a mysterious experiment with unproven technology. Think Star Trek with more women and a resulting greater emphasis on interpersonal relations.
I can’t approach this story objectively, because I was a fan of the previous incarnation (as discussed in an interview with the author). It’s been so long, though — over a decade — that these characters seemed fresh yet familiar, like old friends I hadn’t seen in a while and needed catching up with.
Fusella captains the Galaxion, which has been taken away from her temporarily. She’s been told that it’s for an engine refit, but the changes are too drastic for that to be solely the case. It turns out that her science ship has been enlisted for an experimental hyperspace jump, along with her crew. Among them are Aria, a geologist on the survey team, perhaps the most level-headed of the cast. Darvin is the officer leading the renovations, while Zan’s a young inventor.
When the experiment doesn’t go as expected, the ship’s crew has to figure out where they are. Everyone gets down to work to solve the mystery, which may be related to history of other ships.
I like that the cast is distinctive and realistic, probably the characters most like real people I’ve ever found in science fiction. They bicker and chit-chat. They’re diverse in attitude and personality and cultural backgrounds. (How refreshing, to see so many women working in technical jobs, too!)
And they all have really neat hair, in styles and shapes I recognize (instead of odd outlines created because the artist is taking shortcuts). The expressions are well-observed and pictured. The backgrounds are rich and solid, three-dimensional rooms and settings.
The dialogue’s great for revealing what the reader needs to know to follow the story. There’s clearly a lot more here than we’re getting on the page right away, a detailed history that we’ll find out more about as the story progresses.
If you read the previous series, you’ll know more about what the crew is going to face, but the story’s different enough that I enjoyed this new collection, and the art’s more accomplished. This volume also includes a stand-alone story (previously published as part of a promotional flipbook with Amy Unbounded) and some alternate pages. The book does end on a cliffhanger, so follow up at the website or hope, as I do, that the next volume won’t take as long!