Home is a Distant Wish, cover by Jurinova, published by Tapas/Webtoon
WHAT IS IT?
Home is a Distant Wish is a space opera revolving around a group of ordinary people who find their lives forever changed by the strangers that board their ship one day.
Think of it as a mixture of shows like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop with expansive traits akin to Saga and Mass Effect.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
When a group of struggling space-faring smugglers find a place to call home stop to pick up some "cargo" – a mysterious individual of Keld descent that harbors a dark secret – they quickly realize that he was not the only stranger to board their vessel that fateful day. A sassy, pink-haired stowaway named Angelo brings a new string of problems with his presence.
Angelo seems to know more than he’s letting on and his whispered secrets threaten to pull their family apart. Before any of them realize what has happened, the simple transport job turns deadly and the crew is sent on diverging paths. Terrorist attacks break out across the galaxy, government forces and war feel as though they linger on every horizon, and many of them discover that they cannot outrun their pasts. The strangers threaten to unravel the normalcy the crew had found themselves in and all of these seemingly dissimilar lives are suddenly bound together in ways they could never imagine.
Jurinova has a masterful grip on the space opera genre, especially in the aspects of illustration. Everything from the designs of characters, alien races, and outfits, to the style of space ships and weapons, they have created a universe that is refreshing with a unique look all their own.
They have found a wonderful balance of pacing and storytelling, a romance-leaning narrative that is ripe with espionage, action, and the sense of wonder that comes with space exploration.
All of the alien species created for the comic feel original and stray away from what is expected in sci-fi. The art style is realistic enough to feel believable and authentic, but still has that lean of far-off futurism that makes the sci-fi genre so enticing.
Unlike many other options when it comes to space-based, futuristic comics, the color palette is breathtakingly soft and almost bright with pastel hues, taking inspiration from the early Space-Age stylings of the 1960s. This choice helps convey intense emotion and adds to both the narrative and originality of the universe it takes place in.
The comic is proudly LGBTQIA+ positive and this is very much reflected in both the cast and the various relationships, which adds to the character development and individual story arcs with emotional and satisfying payoffs.
There is a cinematic quality to the layout of the comic; the wide expanses, the flow during action scenes, and angles chosen to draw the reader's eyes to particular pieces all convey a sense of movement.
The architecture and world design in particular are especially breathtaking and enjoyable to look at. Several pages throughout are comprised of just landscapes and buildings that look like they could be printed on postcards at an interstellar travel agency.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Some mild violence and strong language may not be suitable for all readers.
The first arc (chapters 1-5) is a bit lacking in certain world-building aspects. Things like locational markers, more detailed character/species introductions, etc. would have helped enhance the narrative. (Some of this is offered up in info dumps between the later chapters after the first arc concludes).
The story is a slow burn, which might be a turn-off for some readers who are looking for a more fast-paced space adventure.
Home is a Distant Wish, art by Jurinova, published by Tapas/Webtoon
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Home is a Distant Wish is an extensive work in progress, having taken Jurinova several years to create and bring to life with care and precision. There are currently only nine chapters and it is updated infrequently, but it is nonetheless a satisfying and low-key read. With a mellow mood and aesthetic, it is the perfect read to curl up and enjoy on a rainy day afternoon. It’s easy to binge over and over, its combination of romance and sci-fi tugs at the heartstrings and leaves you wanting more when every chapter reaches its conclusion.
With inspiration drawn from Dune, Blade Runner, and Cowboy Bebop, Juri has created a stunningly original story that stands out amongst the oversaturated genre.
The pastel-leaning color palette, enhanced by the neon-soaked nightlife, instills an almost neo-noir mood. The characters are lifelike both in design and personality and the strikingly detailed locations bring on a sense of wanderlust for the unknowns of the starry horizons above. Every panel is breathtakingly stunning, even pages that lack text are pure eye candy and every re-read offers up some new small detail you didn’t see before.
Though there is still much more to come, it is definitely a comic to keep in your subscription box if you enjoy the space opera genre or are a fan of grand journeys through the cosmos.
HOW DO I READ IT?
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