COMIC REVIEW: FUTUREQUAKE #26 / AUTHOR: VARIOUS / ARTIST: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: FUTUREQUAKE PRESS / RELEASE DATE: AVAILABLE NOW
FutureQuake #26 is the latest collection of strips from FutureQuake Press. It collects together a range of stories over 48 pages, almost entirely black and white.
None of the nine stories included is overlong and most follow the familiar pattern of set-up, action and twist. They work to varying degrees but when good are very good indeed.
The opening story is possibly the best (if there is an objective standard), and is The Shepherd written by Alexi Conman, with art by Xia. This as a short story is poignant – a man works alone on a distant space-station herding alien life for inert gasses, and all he wants is a holiday. Under a crushing tale of corporation vs. individual is also a tender tale of alien life, understanding crossing the barriers of species and a twist where the reader sees the parts of the story unobserved by the central character. All this is illustrate with vivid use of grey, expressive faces real character conveyed with the use of art. A true example of pictures painting more than the words themselves.
Other stories are strong and well-crafted; some dark, some humorous and others such as Letters Home by Alec Robertson, art by RH Stewart. This is story about war, humanity, religion and alien life. Told in odd fragments it works as a whole even if the art is uneven. When it is good, it is very good indeed.
As is often the way the strongest stories are at the front, and while understandable also means the end of the collection feels a bit flat. This is a shame as there is a lot to enjoy.
Although the standard varies this is a worthwhile collection with plenty in it for all readers, and at £4 is good value. Even if only half the stories appeal it is the price of a coffee and pastry (in London!) and will last longer and stay in the memory.