‘ve gone into comics in the past here. So now I’m putting you onto something really good, something that will make you happy and sad and yank those old heart strings around, a webcomic titled Space Boy, online and free for viewing.
So, Space Boy isn’t really centered around a boy so much as it is a young girl named Amy in the 3300’s-and-something. She lived in a deep space mining colony, her dad was scapegoated for an industrial accident, and her family has been “fired” (i.e. removed from service and sent back to Earth). Now, Amy has lived on this colony all her life – it’s a thirty year frozen-trip each way. So, first item of interest – when she does get back to Earth, her best friend-gal back on-station is now 45. And Amy cannot bring herself to call her (she does once, and there is her friend! Wow! Wait, that’s not her friend. It’s her friend’s daughter. Click!)
Thus we follow Amy as she fits into a dirt-side culture with her 30-year lag, looking over her shoulder as she discovers rain and snow (very sweet) and baby chickens (very, very cute). And while trying to find her place in her new high school, she notices Oliver, the quiet boy who drifts in and out of class when he wishes, and only really shows up for art lessons.
I’m going to tell you this – I really loved Space Boy (it is still ongoing – hasn’t completed its run yet). The story is interesting and the artwork takes full advantage of its medium. The panels are stacked vertically and to read, you scroll with your mouse wheel. Here Stephen McCraine, the artist/writer behind this effort, really takes advantage of his form. As you scroll down, a white background slowly fades to blue, and suddenly you are looking at a sky, and houses, a perfect fade-in. He does this in many unique ways – in one shot, he stands his art sideways and gives you a wide panoramic of a parade marching past.
One interesting thing of note – while his artwork is Disney-sharp, he puts his own style into it. Women tend to have legs that come down, not to feet, but to sharp little points. Trust me, it actually works – it just causes a blink or two to get used to.
But, as said, the tale is moving and sad and thrilling and funny. You’ll not find this sort of storytelling often, and I strongly recommend it. As promised, the link is below – click on it to get the splash page then hit the green button to the right to begin. Navigation is simple. If you can work a book, you can work this too. But check it out. Just read the first chapter and see if, dammit, you aren’t hooked.