What would you do if you were an ordinary guy who woke up in the bed of a green-skinned alien princess only to find you were the new king of a warlike alien planet?! Quinton Miles and the guys from QAM Comics pose just that conundrum in their latest Guided View digital comic, Xeno Trip #1, but haven’t we seen this kind of story done a hundred times before?!
Publisher: QAM Comics
Writer: Quinton Miles
Artist: Daniele Cosentino
Price: £0.69/$0.99 from ComiXology
Xeno Trip is the light hearted tale of Cody Bennett, a regular slob who wakes up in bed next to a naked green lady and doesn’t know how he got there. He also doesn’t know how he came to be crowned King of Balathar, started a civil war or why ‘Baby Got Back’ is a holy song on this planet.
Looking to learn more about how the hell he got in this predicament, Cody teams up with his two guards Stus and Zorg and takes the show on the road.
Quinton Miles (writer and main-man behind QAM) controls the pace of the story well, with an intriguing set-up, interesting characters and much to be discovered in future issues. Using the well-worn ‘Conneticut Yankee’ idea of a man out of time and place, Miles doesn’t give away everything in this first episode, leaving plenty of intrigue as to how and why Cody got into the predicament he is in. This means that by the end of the first episode you are still none the wiser and so are keen to get onto the next episode as soon as you can. The tone is witty and smart with lots of self aware in-jokes (including a constant reference to 90s hip-hop classic Baby Got Back) that make the book feel much fresher and sharper than many of the other attempts at this genre.
Artist Daniele Cosentino’s strong cartoonish style suits the book well usinga thick line to create well defined, expressive characters with a sense of humour while Giulia Priori handles colours and keeps the palette restrained while avoiding the common tendency to go overboard into garishness.
Xeno Trip is a radical departure from the dark and gritty cyber-punk of QAM’s first offering, Template, but is every bit as polished and well put together. Using Guided View to help give the story depth and the same publishing model as Thrillbent of weekly instalments backed up by collected editions on ComiXology, Xeno Trip rightly deserves it’s seat at the top table of digital comics.
This growing stable of comics from QAM is an impressive achievement from such a small, creator driven publisher and a sign of what can be achieved by those outside the mainstream. As well as making really strong comics, QAM are proving an inspiration to creators to control their own publishing destinies and long may it continue!
“Smart, funny and a great take on a well worn sci-fi cliche. QAM Comics’ latest Guided View digital comic shows the company has a bright future and can take on the top dogs of digital comics at their own game! This baby has most definitey ‘got back’!”