Sam Webster is a veteran of the UK convention circuit thanks to his superhero series Joe Cape. However, Sam is now flexing his artistic muscles with Unfamiliar Skies, about a rebellious young girl adventuring through the cosmos. Launching at this weekend’s Melksham Comic Con after a successful Kickstarter campaign, will this title be another blast off success or will it end up lost in space?
Publisher: Sam Webster Comics
Writer: Sam Webster
Artist: Sam Webster
Price: £4 (print) from Sam’s Etsy Store
Our rating: [star rating=”3.5″]
Unfamiliar Skies tells the story of Claris Muston, a self described ‘rebellious 19 year old’ who, having gotten bored with her life on a human colony, has taken a ship and set a course into the unknowns of space. However, upon encountering a massive alien creature, Claris finds herself having crash landed on a strange planet where, in order to repair her damaged vessel, agrees to steal from a local crime boss, leading to all manner of action as she tries to escape both the planet and the situation she now finds herself in.
This is a comic which is really enjoyable, feeling unashamedly fun from start to finish. It’s real strength comes from the confidence of the story, as Webster, seemingly aware of the books implausibility, imbues it with a real sense of absurdity. Main character Claris takes every danger she comes across in a very calm, almost Deadpool like manner. Although Claris reads like an uptight teenager, she is written well enough that she feels likeable and doesn’t grate like other, similar characters might.
The supporting cast, especially the villains are equally compelling. While Kaupmadr’s speech pattern is a little annoying, his rival Instrumagi is intriguing as a cold, calculating boss like character and the interactions between him and Claris work well. In fact, this debut issue is enjoyable on almost every level, with the only flaw being bad time jumping between scenes, causing the story to get a little confusing at times.
It is the art, however, which really works wonders as every page looks really good, to the extent that regular readers of Webster’s work can see that this is his best work, with subtle refinements since his Joe Cape series. This increase in skill is best seen within some of the story’s action sequences, such as Claris’ heist escape and the subsequent shoot-out where the story feels very engaging and adding to the fun. Meanwhile, the colours have a very Nich Angell vibe to them, allowing Unfamiliar Skies to look upbeat and jolly even at some of the story’s dire moments, confirming the light-heartedness of the comic.