Study Group Comics
Completely by Francois Vigneault
Ahhh, what a fine day to learn about a comic that should be on your radar! Titan is a webcomic released by the fine community of creators at Study Group Comic Books. Very recently the story was collected and is being released in issue form from Alternative Comics. In fact the second printing of issue one came out just a week or day ago! The creator of this tale, Francois Vigneault, is a veteran to the indie comics genre. Check out more of his art right here!
MNGR Joao Da Silva is tasked with inspecting many of the off planet worksites in terms of safety, conditions, and productivity. This job brings him to Titan, a planet with a small staff of humans, and a large staff of unionized giants also known as Titans. The Titans are genetically altered to be big so that they can work better in low gravity environments. They are also, as the MNGR of the Titan station points out, basically second class citizens. After meeting with the union leader of the Titans, Cyrus, Joao gets teamed up with one of these giants named Phoebe, who will be his companion throughout the inspection. Joao is very dedicated to his job, but also has a keen eye for detail, and the more he sees this station, the more he realizes that there is an abnormal amount of animosity between the Titans and the humans. He makes it his goal to get to the bottom of this to provide a comfortable work environment for all... but there are those who don't think his intervention is necessarily a good thing.
Vigneault has written some really great characters here. Joao genuinely seems like a good guy, and finding upstanding protagonists in comics is somewhat of a rarity these days. I'm curious if his personality will slowly be altered by the obviously corrupt planet as time goes on. Phoebe is also a great character, providing an enormous amount of context without sounding like a history book. She clearly has a past and I can't wait to see what that is as time goes by. There is also something to be said about the atmosphere that Vigneault's dialogue forms. Through suspicious characters, group tension and even song lyrics, there is a real feeling of isolation even though the space station is very clearly a densely populated area. It's hard to explain, but basically what I'm saying is that Vigneault has provided some seriously deep story as well as enjoyable characters with great personalities. Also, he uses some interesting lingo (i.e. MNGR instead of manager) for even deeper immersion into this universe.
The art in Titan is very unique/ The inside of the space station looks like the Nostromo but with subtle simplicities in the machinery so that it doesn't detract from the dialogue. The Titans are able to seem completely friendly or entirely intimidating, depending on the context of their interactions. They are by definition enormous, and Vigneault makes sure you're aware of that! The regular humans look.. well, regular. Don't get me wrong, they are drawn really well and Joao definitely stands out among them, but most of the character definition is consciously placed on the Titans. With the exception of some of the guards keeping a watch on Joao. They have a look and feel that is reminiscent of classic sci-fi space cops. All in all the story has an aesthetic that you can tell the artist is very loyal to, and rightfully so, it looks great! Oh, and the colors! I find myself getting more and more into limited color pallets and this style quenches that thirst in a big way, I mean just look at the panel on this post, they're killer!
Yes, you COULD check out Titan online. However, if you are like me and can't always relate to online comics well then pick this bad boy up. Either way supports the extremely talented artist as well as the afformentioned Study Group Comic Books, but I always like to throw a little scratch towards the creators if possible. You get a good chunk of story in this first issue, especially for only $5. Do yourself a favor and pick up Titan #1 riiiiiiiiight here. You won't be disappointed.