The Boston Comics Roundtable and River Bird Studios Presents Outbound #1, the science fiction comics anthology. In Outbound, readers find a cluster of comics spanning throughout space and time. The protagonists of the stories varies from a futuristic race to high-tech humans or the less common hero—a flea. Not just any flea, but a flea in space.
Boston Comics Roundtable brings local cartoonists and writers to workshops in the city. The “D.I.Y spirit” of Outbound allows the display of variously talented comics with a wide variation of story lines.
Some pieces grabbed my attention more than others. The first piece, The Caerulean Dream by Roho and Brett Barkley has excellent potential with the classic style lines and pen work, however at times I was lost in large dialogue bubbles and the difficult names (HNAL, Priest HCOI). Yet the story line was engaging, especially at the end and I am curious to read on.
In the future, in the past, on earth (even St. Louis, Mo.) and in space, Outbound definitely provides an abundance of comic settings. Other stories took a more human approach, like Space and Time, where the comic begins with a family and grounds the reader in a common situation despite the fantastical elements of the story. There is even a Spanish oriented comic included, Black Fuska by Roho, unfortunately for me I could not easily follow since no hablo espagnol. I guess that’s what happens with time travel and Brazil is involved, but luckily there were subtitles on the bottom.
Then there’s a true game changer—fleas… in space. Don’t knock it before you try it! Flek! Space Flea was surprisingly endearing and entertaining. Creator Erik Heumiller already threw in a plot twist when the comic wasn’t about Gordo the monkey in space but rather the protagonists inhabiting his fur. Other comics featured in this edition include The Null Device by David Marshall, darkly funny Scientist Gone Wild by Eric Boeker and the witty Mark and the Aliens by Aya Rothwell.
All in all, the mixture of comics throughout Outbound #1 was refreshing. Some stories I favored more than others and hope to follow up on them. Another perk is added interview with director Sandy Collora. Outbound #2 hopefully will continue with the abundant science fiction variety and the multitude of “to be continues…”