Epsilon Zero 2017
By Sebastian Crow
Catapulted is a black and white comic book about cats sent into space during the space race in the 1950's. Prior to manned missions to space, America experimented by sending chimps into space, Russia sent dogs and France... they sent cats (true story).
Follow one cats epic journey as it is Catapulted into space and experience the connections our feline protagonist makes with every person it interacts with, as it survives harsh and changing conditions. Lost cosmonauts, a conspiracy theory and something altogether surprising await readers in Catapulted. If you like sci-fi, alternate history or you have soft spot for cats, this is the book for you.
I love finding little gems like this one. This is something almost completely off the wall weird that it has to be true because remember truth is always stranger than fiction. So Sebastian takes a little known fact about Frances desire to be in the space race with the Russian’s and American’s as they use a cat to go into space compared to the dog or chimpanzee respectively. I have great admiration for someone who does it all, self-published (kickstarter) included because that is some love, passion and dedication and we end up seeing that in the book on every page.
I do like the way that this book is structured and the whole ebb & flow of how we get to see things unfold. Sebastian shows us that history if looked at through the right angles and lens it can be interesting, fun and unexpected in so many ways. While I don’t think there’s any way for a “true” accounting for the feline in question the supposition here is nicely done. I like this and I like that he’s able to draw us into this story in a way the tugs at the human heartstrings and our love for cats. If you don’t believe in the love for cats you’ve never been on the interwebs.
I’m impressed with the interiors here. The weight of the linework and how it’s used in either a bold or subtle way is impressive. That we see some really nice and detailed backgrounds is a bonus though I’d have liked to see more. The characters look great and body proportions are great and it’s nice to see that they feel like real people. The use of page layouts and the way that we see the angles and perspective in the panels showcases a nice eye for storytelling.
The characterisation here is really good, strong, as well. The father who’s daughter wants a cat of her own and the grandmother who tells the story of what she was like at this age. It all just fits together in such a way that fits as snugly as puzzle pieces do. Then the story of her time with Fifi well that’s just as sweet as can be and her adventures are far from over and somehow, somewhere along the way we came to care about this cat thanks to how the hoomans did.
So welcome to the era of the Space Race as you see how France needed to look important and feel like they could hold their own with the United States and Russia. We all kind of see France as the first to fold and not really a world power but that kid who desperately wants to be a part of the in-crowd that he’ll do whatever it takes. The whole thing feels like something that is completely and utterly made up and yet is as real as can be.
This is why when you go to conventions you hit up artist alley and pick up these self-published gems or back kickstarter campaigns because good storytelling and a passion for the business comes from the little guy.