Sunday, 22 March 2020

In Review - 'The Last Arrival'

 ‘The Last Arrival’ issue 1.

Written by Daniel A Prim.
Art by Gergely J. Szabo and Szabrina Maharita.
Letters by Toben Racicot.

Published by Tripolar Comics.
(Previously – ‘Free Fantasy Comics’ as shown on the cover).
41 pages – Full Colour - £6.00.

Here’s what the comic tells us about itself on the old back cover blurb;

‘Planet C'adaei is in danger.
Five aliens flee their planet in a desperate attempt to find a new habitable home. Although Olak, Aome, Acrok, Rirke and U'on have conflicting ideas about the nature of their mission they have to come together to face an unexpected encounter.'

(Avoid the description of this comic on the Comichaus App as it contains big spoilers for the end of issue 1).

The Review – This is the first in a series and looking at the Tripolar Comics site I see that there is another issue released and available for sale. I found this to read on the Comichaus digital comics reading app. The cover has taken care to showcase the central characters on the cover but isn't making use of the deadspace around them. This could/should have a much more dramatic image to pull the eye in and get a reader to pick it up. The character images are also much too small to work out when browsing digitally.

I have to admit to finding the text/prologue/introduction page a nightmare to read, and to be honest I didn't bother in the end. The choice of background colours and text make it quite difficult. This is something however that could easily be fixed in future presentations of the comic. These days a designer always has to consider the possibility that their comic will be read on atablet with a back light.

From straight off the bat you can recognise that this is a well thought out and visually inventive story. The organic techno variety of the machines, spacecraft and living environments has some real old school sci-fi inventiveness. There is a relaxed style to the narrative that allows the reader to fully bed-in with the characters and their world/worlds before pushing back into the action adventure elements. The writing takes care to delineate a family feel to this story, not unlike Lost in Space but in a weirdly much more alien way. This has that exploration at all costs feel to it but added with some pre-Star Wars sixties/seventies science fiction that is wonderfully strange and a tiny bit disconcerting.

To add to the haunting quality of the atmosphere and story beats the writer makes some excellent use of wordless panels and pages. There are sequences that have some great pacing to them throughout issue 1.

As I’ve said above this is the first issue and there are a few teething problems on show. The colour is used in the character designs and is a little overplayed and lacks subtlety. We almost recognise people by the skin colour – green, blue, grey etc. This isn’t needed and a few more conversation centric close-ups would solve this problem. As aliens they can still have personality to their features. These colours are just far too strong. There is also a reveal at the end that kind of feels like the last two pages of issue one are in the wrong order. A reversal might cause less head scratching? 

There are six pin-ups in the back of the book that vary in quality and don’t really add anything to the story and are worth reconsidering as an added extra for future issues.

This is a book that shows some great promise and a genuine attempt to try something fresh. I will be looking out for issue 2 when it hits Comichaus.

You can find more about this series and the other books on offer at Tripolar Comics over at their website here or follow them on Twitter here

This is what the creators from Tripolar Comics had to say about themselves on their site;
‘We aim to make comics that are original, fun, creative and cerebral. We work in a wide variety of genres from gut-wrenching horror to fun kids adventures, hence the name TRIPOLAR COMICS. We are constant in changing.’

Many thanks for reading.

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