Space Makes You Think

Article by, Drew Van Genderen

After the Gold Rush #1
Writer: Miles Greb
Art: Isaac La Russo
Color: Michael Shepard
Letters: Jamie Me

Following a very successful, staff endorsed, Kickstarter campaign, After The Gold Rush is finally out in the world, and oh how lucky the world is. Giving the reader an immediate taste of the stories atmosphere and logic, we see Scout's ship departing one planet only to crash on another. Quickly recovering from the crash, Scout approaches this foreign landscape with an instant sense of possibility, positivity, and wonder, studying what she can and getting acclimated with this green, livable landscape. As she not only studies, but experiences what the world has to offer, she is unaware that following close by are individuals who are made uneasy and dangerous by her arrival. 

Miles Greb stretches out his wings to write a scifi story that may, in the long run, give just as much credence to the science as the fiction. Within the first few pages we see the science based view of the universe and Scout's understanding of it. When this ideology meets with that of this clearly primitive species on her trail, there is bound to be some powerful contrast. Scout, as a character, is a breath of fresh air. She exhibits remarkable confidence despite her unfortunate situation, and really stands out as someone who wants to see how the world works rather than be frightened of how different it is. The way she takes everything in and provides not only herself, but the reader with details on this planet is an excellent and seamless vehicle for context as well as a small glimpse into Scout's home planet. With every single panel, Greb includes facts and information that show what Scout is familiar with as well as what makes this planet new. Most of the story is told through Scout herself, with the dialogue erring on the side of charm, levity, and discovery, while still understanding the gravity of her situation. This realistic style of characterization makes her immediately enjoyable to the reader. Miles and I had a conversation right before the Kickstarter went up (notes and episode can be found here), and this issue leads me to believe that the story is going to be just as unique, thought provoking, and enjoyable as promised.

Isaac La Russo has an almost loose lined, sketchy approach to Scout and the planet, while still giving a large amount of detail and giving the book a tight, yet whimsical look. The environments are primarily forest in this first issue, and with that comes a dense landscape of trees, providing lots of areas for Scout to explore, and her pursuers to observe. The technology she has brought with her is enjoyably classic in terms of her ship, and futuristically understandable when it comes to her hologram displays used to provide facts and archive data. What stands out most about her is the expressions on her face as she explores, all over the spectrum from surprised to pleased to curious. The character herself just has a certain energy about her that makes the reader instantly attached, and her expressive facial features really add to that. When her pursuers are finally revealed, there is a twinge of fear as we see some sinister looking figures, but based off of the given context and the movement of the story, there is clearly more there. Michael Shepard provides colors that make the leafy environments pop even more, and make Scout in her space suit look truly alien on the space she's inhabiting. This set up issue is clearly starting to build an enormous world, and La Russo's style is perfect for providing the beauty, whimsy, and at times intensity that it deserves.

After The Gold Rush is treading new ground, and this first issue is just the start of it. There is a saga in the making here, and it's had one hell of a premier. Greb and La Russo have a story that they absolutely need to tell, and I personally can't wait for the next chapter. If you like science fiction, enjoyable characters, having something to think about, and a hell of a cliffhanger, then head over to the book's Indiegogo page and pick it up (as well as some truly awesome perks).

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