By Oliver Gerlach
Casey Quevedo’s Velocidad is a fun sci-fi adventure about a crew of space pirates raiding supply ships traveling to distant space colonies. It’s a straightforward concept that doesn’t require very much explanation or detailed worldbuilding, so it’s nice and easy to jump into. Honestly, the brief paragraph introducing the concept at the start of the first issue is entirely unnecessary.
First up, a brief disclaimer. I’ve just come back from Thought Bubble, the best comic con in the UK, and easily the best for finding fun indie comics. As such, I’ve been reading a LOT of really great indie work over the last couple of days, and so Velocidad is at something of a disadvantage coming to me just after all that. That being said, I don’t have all that many issues with it at all! It’s a lot of fun and, a few minor hesitations aside. Definitely, something I’d be interested in reading more of.
Even from just the first few pages, it’s clear that Quevedo is primarily an artist. The lettering feels weirdly separate from the rest of the work, floating in italicised text with no variation at all and leaving the dialogue oddly flat, and it’s not entirely free from typos. However, the art is just straightforwardly stunning. The slightly odd lettering is a very minor complaint, and it’s more than made up for by just how visually impressive the rest of this book is. Quevedo’s linework is beautifully textured, with the characters and spaceships feeling really solid and weighty, and the restrained blue/grey colour palette looks amazing. Aspects like this are why that expository paragraph at the start mentioned above is entirely unnecessary; through simple, solid-looking artistic choices, Quevedo has created a world that feels solid and real. It helps that all of the sci-fi technology has been very well designed and looks really distinctive, but I think it’s that sense of solidity that really sells the world.
Thus far the plot is pretty straightforward, but that’s fine. This is a space pirate adventure in the mould of Firefly, and it can get away with just doing simple heist plots while introducing the cast. That cast is, by the way, a pleasingly diverse selection of characters; it’s a good team, and I think this could develop into something really fun. The problem there is the “could develop into”. Having received the first two issues for review, I had a good time. I’m not convinced I would have had such a good time if I’d bought the first issue at a con, for example; it really takes that full two issues to get going, and I can’t help feeling like they should maybe have been combined into one larger issue to get this going. I’d be interested in buying a collected edition, but I’m not sure the single issues really feel like they’ve got very much to them individually.
Writer/Artist: Kasey Quevedo
Publisher: Panel Pirates