|Astounding Space Thrills|
With so many comic book pundits heralding the seemingly inevitable collapse of the
industry (any day now, some of them seem to believe), it's easy to overlook
the fact that there is groundbreaking work being done in the field of sequential art. Case in point:
Steve Conley's Astounding Space Thrills.
Found on-line as well as in comic book stores, Conley's strip conveys the exploits of young genius/adventurer Argosy Smith, and his faithful sidekick, Human turned protoplasmic life form, Theremin. They reside on a future earth, where, as a result of the Milky Way galaxy entering a new region of space with far different laws of physics, our good planet has been given a second chance after hitting the bottom of a cultural decline.
Argosy's world is one of fast-paced sci-fi action, somewhat reminiscent of comic book stories done in the '50's, but with it's own flair and sense of originality. Conley's clean, cartoony art style perfectly compliments the book's fun attitude. The high-octane adventure is matched only by the tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Argosy's genius.
A statement made by Argosy to Theremin while under attack by enemy aliens is a good example:
"Assuming you're right about the aliens' weapon having an empathic charge, if we've got duct tape and elbow macaroni on board, I can rig a space suit to block the effect."
This is a comic that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Suggested reading, just to get a handle on the characters and their world, is "The Shift," which can be found in the archives of the website, www.astoundingspacethrills.com.
Check it out.
Two comic book series have been released; a three-issue story, published by Day One Comics, and a four-issue story from Image Comics. The Image issues will probably be easier to find at comic shops than the first three. All issues, however, can be found by visiting the online store at the A.S.T. website. To find your local comic shop, dial 1-888-comicbook.
Astounding Space Thrills is published by Image Comics. It is 32 pages and priced at $2.95.
Review by Mark Allen
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