Indie comic creator and writer Michael Sarrao is expanding his comics imprint, Idea Engine, with a new series titled SID: Special Intergalactic Detective Volume 1. I've previously backed his Kickstarters for his first volume of Unmasked as well as the Unmasked: Signal. When I heard that Michael was preparing a Kickstarter for his latest series, I reached out to him to see if he'd be interested in having [IGH] write up a review. In response, he generously showed me a peek of the first chapter of the graphic novel.
Right from the start, I could see that Michael Sarrao was going in a new direction with this title. The introduction is more lighthearted and certainly more of a soft science fiction than I've seen from him before. Our lead character, SID, an approachable wise-cracking alien that's here on earth to save us from ourselves. You want to know why we haven't been wiped out of existence by destroying the ozone layer or from nuclear war? Well, you can thank SID for that. Though if you did, he wouldn't be too humble in his response.
As the pages turn (or scroll down as with digital copies) we are introduced to characters like FBI Agent Courtney Hodge, a character more reminiscent of Sarrao's previous and more gritty works. With that setup, Courtney and SID are able to play off each other in way that both shows Sarrao taking more risks as a writer while almost coming off as a parody of his own gritty style in other books.
Using Courtney and SID, Sarrao navigates us through a world that blends the serious with the absurd. It takes the feel of Atomic Robo with its lighthearted pop sci-fi feel and blends it with the political intrigue of Transmetropolitan.
Artist Matt Leporacci enhances Michael Sarrao's story by riding the line between pop sci-fi fun and gritty detective through the expressiveness in the faces he draws. SID in particularly is very expressive; everything from his subdued sarcasm to destructive grin. Though Matt Leporacci doesn't have many credits to his name, he does have talent and I'm looking forward to seeing how his career progresses.
I don't want to give away too much more of the story, but I will say that if you're familiar with Michael Sarrao's previous work this is certainly a leap in a different direction. And if you're interested in sci-fi comics with some political commentary and want to see similar books, then this is a book worth supporting.
As of this writing, SID: Special Intergalactic Detective Volume 1 is about a third of the way to its goal in just its first week up, making this a very promising project. If this is the kind of story you want to see in print, please consider backing this project. If it's not your bag, you probably know someone who would like it.
So check out Michael Sarrao's new Kickstarter, back it, and/or share it around. You've got until July 22nd at 8:18pm EST.
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