Man From Space is as Indie as a comic can get as creator/writer/artist Marc Jackson self-published all fifty of the first issue on his own. That’s right, that’s how limited this book is right now. Of course Marc could always do a second printing if needed so don’t go passing on the book due to its limited numbers I’m just giving it “Indie cred.” I can only describe Man From Space as a comedic romp through space in the vein of Axe Cop, its fast paced humor and organic flowing story make for a fun yet quick read. The story follows, get ready, a man from space. I know I shocked you on that one, but really he doesn’t know who he is so he’s just a dude in space for now. His goldfish Michael crashes their spaceship due to his lack of hands and basically knowledge of driving which forces the duo to explore the planet they find themselves stranded on. I know you’re asking, “Does Michael talk?” and the answer is kind of. Only our spaceman knows for sure what he’s saying as we’re only privy to “Bloops” and “Shloops.” Soon enough they run into a pinkish alien and greet him by going into attack mode which is basically just throwing Michael’s fishbowl at the alien’s head. The alien turns out to be friendly and goes by the name Whemblo; he was on his way to help them after witnesses the crash. From there the trio faces many dangers and continues to meet new friends along the way.
There are a lot of characters in this first issue, I mean a lot and if it were any other style of story I would say that as a negative. For instance in superhero team books the first issue is usually this gigantic team coming together and after the third character you’re ready to yell, “Enough!” Well in Man From Space I can’t help but say it’s in the vein of Axe Cop because the story shifts every few pages. The characters run across a new character that suddenly changes their course of action due to some danger they cannot face. Even when our main character is given a particular destination to go to and is only miles away, he sets course to leave the planet. I laughed and had a good time with the book, basically waiting to see what new crazy scenario the characters would be pitted against on the next few pages.
The art is digitally drawn from the looks of it and has an animated style. I could see it being adapted in too shorts to promote the issue with the right voice over. It’s very simple and basically uses bold colors for everything with very little detail, but it works really well for the story. It’s simple, but I enjoyed the way it looked as it played to the humor of the story. Even though it’s very simplistic art there is still a lot of skill and craft in the art work. For instance the lighting for objects is spot on and there is reverse lighting as well. For instance when the dark background goes white and the characters and settings go black. Like I said, the art work plays off the story very well.
I didn’t fall in love with the book initially; it was good but obviously had some roughness to it. The comedy hits too quickly barely leaving you the chance to forget the last joke and in general I wasn’t too sure where the story was going. But for an indie self-published book you could have fooled me due to its production value. I would definitely pick up the next issue, but I don’t know if the series would be for everyone. I think it will find its niche in comics, but it’s hard to see it being widely accessible for everyone. If you’re curious and hopefully you are, then you can buy the issue at Marc’s site www.manfromspace.co.uk and yes he does ship to the states from the UK so check it out in print. But soon enough you’ll also be able to get the book digitally on DriveThru Comics and on Graphicly so keep an eye out!
Writer/Artist/Creator: Marc Jackson