By Al Kratina
Aug 5, 2007 - 19:34
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Matt Fillbach, Shawn Fillbach
Artist: Matt Fillbach, Shawn Fillbach
The Fillbach brothers have apparently learned quite a bit from their stint on the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures comics. In Maxwell Strangewell, their graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics, they’ve created a universe well populated with a vast array of bizarre creatures and anchored by a new-age spirituality that, mixed with the sci-fi geekiness, creates the perfect nerd hybrid. If the book catches on, it’s destined to be discussed in the context of futuristic utopias alongside Gene Rodenberry, J. Michael Straczynski and the guy who invented World Of Warcraft. Not that WOW is particularly utopian, it’s just that sci-fi is a geek genre, and most geeks’ idea of a perfect world involves defecating in adult diapers while playing MMOPRGs for 48 straight hours.
The art is black and white, and deceptively simple. It’s got a distinctly humorous touch, and the black and white is used well, occasionally evoking Frank Miller with less of a crushing sense of gravitas. Two of the characters occasionally blur together, especially as they become more grizzled, but for the most part everyone else is distinct and visually interesting. The page layouts are fairly straightforward and geometric, and none of the perspectives or angles stand out, but the story-telling is clear, and the art provides a strong backbone for the story. Gene Roddenbery and the Horde would be proud.
Rating: 7 on 10