To be honest, I’ve never been interested in science fiction as it relates to inter-space travel and exploration of other galaxies. Having a father who is a super-fan of “Star Trek” and Star Wars, it was a common occurrence for me growing up to watch those titles, and more like Dune and The Last Starfighter, on a nearly weekly basis. While space exploration is something that makes me want to drag my face across dirty concrete, I think all of the movies listed above will be the biggest draw as to why you should pick up the debut issue of the Kickstarter’ed comic saga, The Anathema. The Anathema is a near perfect combination of Dune and Star Wars mixed with college humor, expert storytelling and zombies! It’s basically space travel on crack…and you’re going to love it!
The series’ creator Tom Savage recently sent me part 1 of The Anathema and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I loaded the .pdf. I’ve never heard of the product before and, again, the subject material is far outside of my comfort zone in terms of taste. Taken from The Anathema’s Official Facebook Page, this graphic novel is best summarized as, “In a dark future an evil ancient entity from a time before time known as Balam, The Enslaver raged a brutal campaign across the galaxy creating an undead army or loyal slaves of all races and species and harvesting the unique races of Magis (enchanters) gifts and powers for his armies devastating weapons. The last of the surviving known as the resistance defeated Balam and his army in a great battle on the life drained planet Arpathia. And with the self sacrifice of the last Phoenxia Magis stopped Balam and trapped it’s spirit in a talisman known as The Anathema. Trapped but not destroyed. His armies retreated to the edges of the galaxy while keeping the surviving planets in its tormenting grasps awaiting their masters return. An elite band of humans, aliens, and Magis are in a race against time to destroy Balam and The Anathema for good and return order and peace to the Galaxy”
By this point I’ve made it clear that I think The Anathema is superb as a science fiction graphic novel/comic book series. It’s extremely rich in detail and story development, and it starts with one Hell of a story, one Hell of a legend. After that, the rest of the story unravels in a unique way that’s really reminiscent of other products in its category from the 60s, 70s and early 80s. Usually comic books like this one have a very rigid demographic and target audience, but mixing other elements – like the supernatural, the totem, the zombies, humor, etc – into part 1 really broadens that group and will make it intriguing to any boy or girl who picks it up. I guess you can say it has a little bit of something for everyone! And let me not forget to mention the artwork, also created by Mr. Tom Savage. As you can see from the cover art above and the teaser page to the right, he’s got some mega-talent up his sleeve and to me, at least, he did something really creative with his artwork. When matters are dark, the artwork is hazy, depressing, void of strict lines and too much color. When matters are less stressful, the artwork is on point and vibrant. I think Savage did something really cool by mixing art with emotion. I’m impressed.
Currently, The Anathema is available for free on Tom’s Official Site, but it’s only going to stay that way for another five days! After that, you’re probably going to have to pay for it online or at conventions, but I guarantee it’ll be worth the price of purchase. FINAL SCORE: 8 out of 10