50 Signal Volume One: The First Day by Nick Gonzo
This is the tale of an astronaut and his love and companion, his space ship. This is no ordinary ship, this is a living sentience that has been with the astronaut since birth. Bonded together they have a mission. No, not a five year one to boldly go…but to Investigate, Document and Salvage.
Their mission takes them to a planet with something strange on it. What seems to be a giant space corpse. This brobdingnagian environment is bizarre and what the astronaut finds there is more bizzare still. What the astronaut encounters challenges his sense of who he is, and what is real.
“Please tell me more of your mission.
I’m here to…erm…well…I investigate, document, and…erm…salvage…
Salvage and document what?
You know I’m not sure. Just things.
Then who sent you here?
The people in charge.
And they did not give you the knowledge they need?
The astronaut finds they are not alone. There are others a little like them with similar missions. An opportunity to share knowledge, but none know just why they are there. By putting his faith in his ship the astronaut finds he can escape the destiny his host plans for him. Defying fate and trusting to love, he ultimately finds himself in a strange universe.
The storytelling in 50Signal is strong. Short comics like this only have a little time to set the scene and propel us into a story that is compelling, interesting and surprising. 50Signal manages to achieve this with charm and humour. It is full of surprises and twists whilst playing with the familiar imagery of rocket ships and planets.
Nick Gonzo‘s art has a simple and naive style which reminded me of old BBC children’s series like the Clangers and Noggin the Nog. The lettering is hand written (mostly) and has a ragged appeal.
A pleasant surprise, I look forward to picking up more installments of 50Signal.
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