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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Hitch-Hiker. No. 1. Aaron Kennedy (Writer), Diana Marques (Art) WP Comics (2016)

An engaging, enjoyable and bit too self-conscious science fiction comic. A slightly shabby human man is talking to a cigar smoking orange blob of an alien about where they both are. The human makes an extraordinary claim, rejected by the alien and a test of sorts is proposed and acted upon. The human lands them both in severe trouble and the real test of the idea is set up.
Aaron Kennedy has written two stories, one is engaging and rather charming, the other is a small but consistent pain in the neck. The alien and his world are both credible and engaging, they are unexpected and the details are just spot on. There is nothing very complicated about either, the cast are various coloured blobs with short legs and arms, they have energy and presence. They world does not have a lot of detail, just enough to make it solid and bring the reader.
The human is a interruption to the story, after he explains the wonderful premise to the story he spends most of the rest of the story poking the reader with needless references and a truly infuriating final statement. The character appears to be in the story and want to comment on it in some way, digging a knowing elbow in the readers ribs as they share the meta joke. Fortunately the quiet charm of the non human aspect to the story is greater than the annoyance generated by the far too smart charachter.
Much of the credit for this goes to Diana Marques whose friendly art and beautiful colouring are a treat for the eye. They planet is bright and vivid as are the inhabitants. They are forceful when needed and express their character through subtle body language. Given the shapes of the aliens, this is a very considerable achievement, the blobs are strongly expressive and individual. The human is nicely shabby, this is a nice counterpoint to his attitude which is sharp and rather acid. He is not dressed for the role, it is a clever bit of tension which helps reduce the problems that he creates for the story.
This is an intriguing set up, there is a powerhouse premise and if Aaron Kennedy could trust the readers more and dive into the story engine in a more wholehearted way this could well become a fascinating series.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts. If you would like to buy a copy of The Hitch-Hiker 1, you should, it is smart and thoughtful and any comic that has enough spark to ruffle a reader is always worth a read, you can purchase it here http://www.wpcomicsltd.com/comics.

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