Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Caio Oliveira, Colin Bell, Exit Generation, Jack, Matthew, Olivia, Ruth Redmond, Sam Read, Thought Bubble
Debuting at this year’s Thought Bubble Comic Festival in Leeds on the 23rd & 24th of November is Sam Read’s first foray into the world of self-published comics although his recent Second place in Grayhaven Comics Apprentice competition was a definite indicator of how good Sam could be.
Over the course of the first pages we’re introduced to Earth in the year 2025 where a booming population and a finite set of resources combine to make the future beyond this point a little more uncertain. We flash through a year where the current plight of Earth’s population brings riots and rationing and the eventual realization that leaving the planet is the most obvious solution. Cue the passing of a 30 year period that sees the Exit Project get underway and vast ships being built to get the hell out of dodge……but this is where the story takes a different direction than I was expecting.
Where other tales would have followed a successful escape and a voyage to explore the galaxy we see things go pear-shaped with the big plan and it’s the 5% of the population that missed out on their escape as the central part of our story. Savaging in the quieter world that was left behind they coast through living off what they find and central to our story is Jack – son of Olivia & Matthew who were separated when Matthew made the cut for the big ship heading into the big black….leaving a pregnant Olivia remaining on Earth.
Almost a bleak start but surprisingly enough Jack’s 20th birthday marks a key point in the story – as his adoptive parents make the most of his big day and we learn a bit more of how Olivia lost the plot with Jack’s life being seamlessly picked up by good friends of the family. The high of making it through another year is shaken by a run in with his adoptive brother…..and more significantly by the invasion of an alien race…..I hate when that happens.
A nice false front from the Alien visitors doesn’t wash with the people of Earth and their true motives bring panic and fear in droves. Set on harvesting the people of Earth as food Jack’s adoptive parents are swept up in the panic and disappear onto a ship and then into the sky as the Aliens make their hit n run attack a formality. Revenge is on the cards as Jack and his brother are left on Earth as they helplessly watch the skies as the ships get smaller and smaller.
BOOM – that’s a fairly hectic pace to kick things off and I initially thought the rapid progression over those first few pages was excessive although as it eased into the story that pacing seemed to fit all the better. Setting the back story up with just the right amount of information but the only thing I’d like to have seen more of was a more significant presence of Matthew & Olivia……as I think that would have increased my connection with them and with Jack as a result. That being said, that’s a minor quibble because the story from Sam combined with the work of Caio Oliveira (Artist), Ruth Redmond (Colourist) and Colin Bell (Letterer & production) helps provide us with what proves to be a stellar opener for ANOTHER indie title that makes it into my pull-list.
Roll-on issue #2 and grab a copy of this at Thought Bubble as soon as you can……failing that you can check out those first few pages over at Sam’s site:
You can also grab a digital copy online:
Then you can grab a copy from the writer himself at Table 2 Royal Armouries during Thought Bubble on the 23rd/24th – alongside Colin Bell, Harry French and John Lees.
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