Writer: Samuel George London Art: Mikael Hankonen Publisher: Signal Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A young man's life is turned upside-down when he finds an item from an unlikely source.
At just over 52 pages total, it's a one-shot comic, which means it's a short, complete story. Like a shorter graphic novel, essentially.
The plot and tone feel very much like Stardust in a lot of ways. The time period, the idea of life changing forever after a certain catalyst is introduced. The unrequited love. It's very similar, but with fewer characters and side plots.
It also reminded me of the Doctor Who episodes "Human Nature" and "Family of Blood" for reasons I'll get into later.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This book is nearly impossible to describe without giving things away, so I really recommend stopping here and just reading the comic itself. But if you want to read more, I'll try to spoil it as little as possible.
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.
It's 1897 in southern England. A young, slightly socially awkward inventor named Alfie goes about his daily life in the small village of Milford Green. He meets his friend, Mary, who he secretly has feelings for. He meets another friend, an older man who writes stories about strange creatures Alfie could never imagine. He's excited for a multi-day festival coming up. It's the kind of life any young man in a small town at that time may live.
But when an alien crash-lands just outside of town and Alfie is forced to keep its technology safe from extraterrestrial enemies, Alfie's life (and the tone of the comic) is changed forever. It's not as hard a left turn tonally as, say, the From Dusk 'til Dawn movie takes, but it's pretty darn close.
Can Alfie defend this alien technology, his small town and, in turn, the world, from these evil extraterrestrial beings? And even if he does, can he ever go back to normal life again?
You'll just have to read it to see!
First off, the art is simply beautiful -- seemingly influenced by manga and anime, but also possessed of its own unique style (see below)
Hankonen is incredibly talented, managing line art, color and lettering expertly
The period clothing is lovingly designed and rendered
When the twist hits midway through, the color palette and lettering style changes dramatically, adding to the dramatic tonal shift
Sound effects also get a lot of love with how well they blend with the art
You don't often get full color in indie comics like this, so the breathtaking color inside is doubly wonderful
I really enjoyed the overall concept of the story, and London blends the fantasy and sci-fi elements effortlessly
It also contains a surprising amount of plot within only 50 pages
The Kickstarter for the comic was so successful, they're making a sequel, Beyond Milford Green, which sounds incredible
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Some dialogue can feel stilted or unnatural at times
Characters barely react to death or loss, but we may see more of this (in a delayed reaction sense) in the sequel
It may not be the most original concept, but what this team does with it is interesting, gorgeous and highly enjoyable
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
London and Hankonen have created a visually striking adventure and a world that we are all better having visited. I think you will love visiting Milford Green.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
The S Factor by Samuel George London & Chris Panda
Angelic, Vol. 1 by Si Spurrier & Caspar Wijngaard
Megatomic Battle Rabbit by Stu Perrins & Israel Huertas
If you like the art:
Beyond Milford Green by Samuel George London & Mikael Hankonen
Year in Hereafter by Mikael Hankonen
Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe & various artists
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Samuel George London – Writer
Is currently running a Kickstarter for a new comic, The S Factor -- a superhero detective story about a superhero dating reality TV show
When he was 21, he walked the length of Great Britain from Lands End to John O' Groats for Cancer Research UK (a journey of 1,000 miles that took 2 months to complete!)
Runs the comics publisher Signal Comics
Is a full-time, stay-at-home dad
Mikael Hankonen – Artist, Colorist & Letterer
Outlander: Hails from Finland
Also studied cinema and video games
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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