Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aliens: First Encounter


By G.P. Bonesteel
www.killerinkcomics.com

I really enjoy the format of this zine. It's wide and skinny, and each page is filled with a single panel like the cover (except it's in black and white). It's a neat size, and can be used to tell a story in a suitably "wide screen" style.

The comic itself disappointed me somewhat. There is no plot other than "aliens attack", and honestly, as much as I love that stuff you still need more than that and a few old jokes (yes, yes, everyone hates hippies, but really, X-Files references in a comic released in 2009?) to get me onside.

I think one of my major issues with this comic is that the "wide screen" format isn't used effectively. Instead we get page after page that feature identical panels where very little on the page actually changes. I'm not dissing that style of storytelling, I think it can be very effective, but I think if you're going to use it you need to have a lot of panels and a lot of room. When most (or even half) of an entire page doesn't change for five or six pages I wonder why the creator bothered framing the story that way. Instead, it might have been better if Bonesteel had used a more traditional size and used smaller repetitive panels instead.

The other problem is that isn't even a complete story. The last page tells us that the story is to be continued, but as the "story" so far is an entirely generic space alien invasion with no actual characters, I'm not sure why I'd bother really.

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