American Gothic Press 2015
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated Jeff Johnson
Coloured by Anthony Diecidue
I think Paul Tobin is one of my new favorite writers, I’ve always enjoyed his work but for some reason right here and now he seems to be hitting his stride and unencumbered by company mandates he’s able to really unleash his creativity and bring us a story that truly is remarkable. This is the kind of science fiction/horror that reminds us why we love it, why made for SyFy movies are a guilty pleasure and why we love to be scared while surrounded by what could be.
I’m already a huge fan of Jeff and Anthony’s work on the interiors the way they were able to create this innocence when the story opened then to introduce us to the main character and the challenges this world faces in the way of the Kind Souls demonstrate such a wide range of ability. The futuristic armor that Captain Eton Langer wears to the ruined amusement park the brief glimpse of what Terracore is capable of it really is some very detailed and expressive work to be admired.
When Eton meets Timi and their conversation begins under less than auspicious circumstances you begin to realize that there is more to this little boy than meets the eye. He’s no stranger to death and he’s very adamant that one hundred years the planet has been like it is now, as matter of fact that he repeats one hundred years seems important to me but how and why still remains a mystery. By contrast Eton’s story for Timi is one that sounds all too common, the company he works for transporting Terracon came under fire from Pirates and in the ensuing battle he was shot down and crash landed on this planet.
What happens as the two go to Timi’s home forms something of a unique bond between them and you can see Eton’s fraternal instincts in regards to the boy kick in, especially after he was responsible for what happened to his friend. We do see that there are Pirates on the surface of this world as well only they aren’t so careful nor quiet as they attract the attention of the Kind Souls and we quickly see what these creatures are capable of. Though how they came to be like they are Timi doesn’t know, only that it all started a hundred years ago.
While avoiding the Pirates and the Kind Souls we hear more about what Timi knows of his planet, that apparently it was a mine. The whole planet was a mine and then it went through a series of changes till it became what it is today. Eton thinks it may have been hit with some Terracore and that’s what could have caused the changes which from his earlier story sounds possible. So how the story ends well it’s the beginning of something exciting. This has all the promise of becoming something extraordinary. Solid writing, characters, characterization and artwork to match make American Gothic Press the company to keep your eye on this year.