Review: Life Support #1 (Madefire)

Life SupportDeep space is a bleak place to be – especially if you’re stuck in a damaged pod and all alone! Shaun Mullen and Ian Beck bring their independent skills to Madefire’s motion book platform with Life Support #1, but will this new indie motion book be a life-saver or leave you needing medical help?

Life SupportPublisher: Madefire
Writer: Ian Beck
Artist: Shaun Mullen
Colors: Shaun Mullen
Covers: Shaun Mullen
Price: Free from Madefire

Life Support #1 is the latest independent title to appear on the Madefire motion book store and it’s free to read but only available on your tablet. It was released without much fanfare but Shaun Mullen’s gorgeous painted cover encourages the reader to download and give the book a try and you won’t be disappointed if you do…

Writer Ian Beck’s story follows an (as yet) unnamed spaceman, who is trapped inside a pod somewhere in deep space. The pod is supposed to be on autopilot and transporting its passenger to his destination and seems a bit like a space taxi. This pod however is defective and requires some repairs. Our ‘hero’ uses the pods onboard computer to identify a suitable planet on which to stop and make these repairs. He dons a life supporting space suit, lands and sets out on his mission to explore the surface and… Well let’s not spoil anymore. What we can say is that although this is a very simple story, Beck skilfully builds the tension and frustrations that being all alone and reliant on broken technology would bring.

Mullen’s artwork is finished in a rough painted style but this doesn’t mean that it looks half finished. The dark hues, interspersed with bright neon splashes are reminiscent of classic sci-fi movies of the late seventies and early eighties like 2001 and Alien and he definitely has a strong eye for composition as he uses his panels to great effect, zooming in and out of the action.

There is a cool electronic soundtrack that pulses throughout the book which again harks back to those classic movies of yesteryear like John Carpenters’ The Thing and endows Life Support with an oppressive, claustrophobic atmosphere. The fact that Shaun and Ian have composed all this themselves make this all the more impressive and really shows how exciting the motion book platform can be when done right.

You might think that with Life Support being an independent title it would be an inferior product to some of the big hitters on the Madefire platform, but if titles like this and Milk For The Ugly have taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate indie creators skills. The creative duo on this series have pulled out all the stops and put together an impressive indie sci-fi story that stands tall amongst the official Madefire books and if this first issue is the sign of things to come, we can’t wait to see how they improve.

pd_review4” Life Support #1 is an impressive debut from this new motion book team who have created a superb mix of classic science-fiction and cutting edge digital comics. A tense and claustrophobic read, with stunning artwork this is another superb addition to the Madefire catalogue that shouldn’t be left to drift alone in space.”