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Welcome back! I still don't have pictures in my reviews, but here's more text! Woohoo!|
This week, I review Space Losers, by Daniel Willingham.
When I first read a few strips of Space Losers, I didn't get it. I kept looking for the big joke, the punch line that would make everything fit together. Then, Daniel Willingham (who is also known to some, inexplicably, as "stinkywigfiddle") joined the Keenspace "Epic" Dropdown, and it all made sense. Space Losers isn't the type of comic you can read once, get a chuckle, and forget about. It's a story.
The tale centers around Hal, a 20-year-old who manages to bum a ride into space with some aliens who come into his fast food workplace. Hal seems to be a few bacon bits short of a salad -- he acts without thinking, he speaks without thinking... pretty much, he does everything without thinking. On occasion, this proves to work in his favor, a la Inspector Clouseau: he's managed to free himself from some baddies by sheer luck, and is now paired up with Liz, a human female who's had significant chunks of memory stolen.
Willingham has a unique style that seems to lend itself to a more comedic strip, but it's not distracting. And there are comedy bits in Space Losers, in a style that seems to fit somewhere between the abnormal psychology of Superosity and the situational goofiness of Joe the Circle (which you should have read by now, silly). The aliens are well-planned, artwise, and occasional dossiers of the races appear in place of a plot advancement comic.
The story behind Space Losers is either moving too quickly or too slowly, in my opinion. We've seen Hal in the company of two different alien species, and we've even learned a bit about each, but so far there is a spectacular breadth and not much depth. In other words, he's writing great aliens, but he's not giving us enough information about them. I feel like we've just skimmed the surface of everything we've seen so far. It's possible (and I certainly hope it's true) that Willingham might be giving an extended exposition that will soon translate into a more involved storyline; if so, I sincerely look forward to the real meat of the story.
I enjoy Space Losers a great deal, and I'm hoping my patience will pay off. The artist has a fantastic scope of ideas -- social structure, sports, entertainment, and trade have all been touched on very, very briefly. Now if we can only get a little more in-depth, we'll have a great sci-fi comic strip.
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