Thursday, October 13, 2016

Anna Galactic

"When it comes to envy y'all is green
Jealous of the rhyme and the rhyme routine
Another dimension, new galaxy
Anna Galactic planetary"

Beastie Boys - Intergalactic

Ah, my favorite cartoonist finished another comic. It's a good day in wolfe-land.
Good, not great.
Christopher Baldwin's Anna Galactic's the third Science Fiction comic I've read by him. For a guy who used to invest all his time in bohemian navel-gazing he's certainly taken a weird shine to the least emotional genre out there. Not that I'm complaining. I was an old Bruno fan and I've always been a SF fan and now the two realms have coalesced with (mostly) glorious results.

Unfortunately, the latest is also the weakest. Not bad but not up to the standards set by his own previous successes. Spacetrawler was expansive and daring and didn't pull its punches and fleshed out in all the necessary minutiae without dwelling on them and everything we could want from a good soft SciFi story... and probably an incredibly exhausting project for any author. One Way was an excellent precept delivered intelligently and decisively but suffered from being shoehorned into a one-year schedule.

Anna Galactic seems to have been developed partly in answer to all those who unfairly criticized One Way for its harsh ending. It's got much more of a sanitized and unchallenging "young adult" feel throughout, complete with lovably goofy but faithful comic relief sidekick. The central idea, revealed only toward the end, is solid SF material. Unfortunately, the delivery centered entirely too much on quasi-suspenseful action movie tropes and the most interesting bits, revelations which should have taken entire chapters, were trunctated to mere telegraphed one-liners or worse still... exposition. The discovery of the ship's true mission on the planet should have taken a couple dozen pages in itself instead of being monologued by the captain in two panels and meekly accepted without the slightest hint of "WTF" by the other characters.
This guy really seems to have an issue with burning out before the end of his projects and just phoning in the big finish.

Still, it was a good basic plot with some interesting filler, and at least he's still willing to put atypical ideas out there. Not great but worth reading

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