Review: Xeno Trip #1

Xeno Trip is a “guided view” Submit comic which is to say that the comic is built for digital. Instead of just scanning through a full page each swipe of the finger reveals something new; It can be more dialog or the next panel and occasionally even action within the scene. I’ve read a few of Madefire’s stories that are built this way and I enjoyed them. I tried some of the Marvel books and not so much. It’s a great way to produce wholly original digital content, but if the story comes across hollow then it feels like a waste of effort to swipe so much. Xeno Trip isn’t a waste of effort, but the story at its core is pretty simple. It’s the classic “human on another planet” storyline, but with the strange twist of our human not remembering how he got there… after being there for two weeks. Oh and he’s their king. None of this is really a spoiler since it’s all covered in the first few scenes of the story.

The issue kicks off with Sir Mix-a-Lot (not that one) waking up in bed with a sexy alien lady. Problem is he doesn’t know what the hell is going on and without his shirt on he can’t understand what the aliens are saying. He flees the room running around naked until he comes to a terrace and looks out at the crowd of people and a giant picture of himself. They cheer to him, but he still can’t understand them. Finally his war advisor brings him his shirt and he can understand them. He wonders out loud why he can hear them with the shirt on and his war advisor informs him that they attempted to discover the reason why but that Sir Mix-a-Lot (still not that one) said “Lolz, don’t care.” The rest of the issue is spent with Cody aka Sir Mix-a-Lot figuring out where he is and what’s going on and his war advisor trying to start a war with someone that we haven’t meet yet.

Xeno Trip #1The story is pretty easy to figure out. A prophecy foretelling Cody’s arrival has made him King and rather than being responsible he’s been partying and starting wars. His advisor wants a war and will find some way to get one, though I’m sure there’s no reason for one in the first place. I’m going to take a shot in the dark that maybe Cody will fall in love with a woman on the other side of the battle and realize that war is not the answer. I could definitely be wrong though, but that’s what the story lends itself to.

The story works. It’s a well-worn formula for a reason and really it becomes about the journey. Cody or as I prefer to call him, Sir Mix-a-Lot is humorous. Actually his two weeks ago self is humorous, but him dealing with his own actions is also humorous. The creators have made a world that is fun, interesting and one that I want to explore more. It’s futuristic, but has an old world vibe due to the kingdom aspect of it, but overall it’s a well-crafted alien world. That’s actually harder to create than it sounds because with so many components it can start to feel cluttered with the same components. Also it’s on the verge of being all-ages if not for the sexy alien woman that’s introduced in the beginning.

With the guided view it actually puts a lot of work on the art, which then feeds back into the story pacing and whatnot. The art has the perfect look for the story and again plays into the all-ages/teen vibe of the story. The world is cartoonish, but believable. The frames that pop up do a fine job of progressing the story and never come off abrasive or ill-fitting to the rest of the panels on the page. The character designs are likeable and the aliens funny looking. Sir Mix-a-Lot’s guards are the perfect sidekicks and are sure to become his best buddies.

I’m definitely continuing with this story which just had its first issue release. For only a dollar there’s plenty of content and it should strike your curiosity when you read it for yourself. Again the plot may be a bit transparent, but the journey was fun and entertaining. Also who doesn’t enjoy a character that goes to an alien world and calls himself “Sir Mix-a-Lot”? The best thing about this comic is that it shows other publishers that an actual story can be told using this system and not just “Spider-Man is late” or “Silver Surfer… he’s still relevant right?” style of stories. Pick it up for yourself, it’s a fun read.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Quinton Miles Artist: Daniele Cosentino Publisher: QAM Comics Price: $.99 Available on Submit