In 2015 the team at Adafruit will sharing our Adafruit’s comic book reading list, turns out there’s about 50+ people here with a lot of good suggestions! This first one is from Lucas – Spacetrawler by Christopher Baldwin.
Do you like comics? Do you like free stuff? Do you like the internet? Do you like comedy, hijinks and adventure? Of course you do. You would have to be some sort of alien slime creature not to like these things. So why not read a webcomic? Why not read a webcomic in which alien slime creatures may not seem so alien? Read Spacetrawler.
Webcomics are fantastic because they offer near unlimited creative control for the creators and are often not only free but finished. That way we can consume them the way all media is meant to be consumed: late night binge. The one great tragedy of the webcomics world is ~unfinished~ webcomics (I can hardly bear to speak of it). This is, fortunately, not the case with Spacetrawler.
Spacetrawler is written by Christopher Baldwin. Baldwin falls into a very valuable sect of webcomic authors. The ones that can write AND draw, and are still bothering to working on webcomics (thank you). Baldwin describes this work as a “sci-fi comedy” but it is so much more. Spacetrawler is the telling by a spaceship captain(Nogg) to an old man (Mr. Zorilla) of the tale of the old man’s daughter(Martina) who disappeared many years ago. Nogg had kidnapped Martina and an ensemble cast of other humans to claim Earth’s seat at an Galactic Organizational Body to try and free an enslaved race of aliens from oppression and exploitation. The tale of this exploit and its aftermath is Spacetrawler.
Make no mistake, Spacetrawler is funny. Very funny (IRL LOLZ). But to call it a just a comedy alone would be to ignore the depth of its interpersonal relationships and the themes of justice, cooperation, compassion and heroism that make up its beautifully illustrated pages.
As someone who takes comics seriously, one of my many hang ups is the art. I go through long stretches when I can’t be bothered to read black and white comics or simply dismiss highly recommended work because the art rubs me funny. The art in Spacetrawler is amazing and noticeably weird, I think its the best of any of Baldwins webworks. It feels awkward at first, until you realize how meticulous it is and how it both facilitates and exacerbates the humour of the comic. Each character is perfectly distinct immediately and also shows a range of character traits and changes throughout the story.
The process of reading a webcomic, Spacetrawler included, involves an intimate embrace with the mind and heart of an author as we see them craft story weekly, solve problems and cast a spell over our eyes. If you like sci-fi, and you like funny, and you are okay with being deeply moved without really knowing how you got there, then Spacetrawler is for you. Please check it out. You won’t regret it.
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