David Halvorson, the one-man-band behind the inspiring symphony that is Armstrong, alerted me to a new project he is working on, this time collaborating with a writer; one Eric Grissom.
Said collaboration has yielded Planet Gigantic. Planet Gigantic is the story of two test tube superheroes, created to be the most powerful… sample collectors in the universe.
Sample Collectors? Yes, it seems the mundane day to day of scientific research is where our heroes have grown up and learned to hone their powers. The mundane is of course, never truly mundane when you have a good writer relaying it to you, and to that end I can say that Grissom seems to be a damn good writer. The dialog in this issue is natural and pertinent – often times writers pile a lot of superfluous dialog into their books because they think it equates to character/story development, when really all it does is come off as a time-suck and, more often than not, does a disservice to the story by derailing the pacing and obscuring the plotting. Grissom though, seems adept at this writing thing, as there are no throwaways here; everything seems germane and advances character and/or plot. We seem to be in good hands.
In this inaugural #0 sneak peek issue we’re thrown right into the fray as our young heroes are introduced to us and quickly set against some insidious odds. It’s clear, concise and paced well. For instance, we’re treated to a very snappy set piece involving giant space-spiders and it all works very well, ramping up the world building, conveying character and advancing the plot all at once – it’s fun, it’s engrossing and it’s all done in a few simple, clean pages. Again, most independent writers I read would have buried the delivery of this moment in tedious exposition to legitimize why these kids are in space, why there are giants spiders and why they’re being attacked… however, Grissom smartly eschews all of that nonsense and places faith in the sophistication of the readers to orient themselves in the fiction. Thank fuck too – I really wish more writers out there held similar standards.
As on Armstrong, Halvorson’s art is just immensely enjoyable to look at – it’s a bit Darwyn Cooke, a bit Bill Watterson, but still wholly his own; Halvorson’s art is crisp, colorful, full of verve and motion is conveyed quite well. There is weight and dimension and everything just rings true. The spell is in firmly place and you’re never once brought out of the world because of some skewed look to something or someone. It’s all very cohesive and enjoyable. Halvorson’s work is already incredibly inventive and retains an inherently effortless charisma to it, so the idea of having those traits let loose and writ large across the expansive backdrop of a sci-fi space opera is quite exciting.
Overall, this is a great preview – it reveals just enough of all the ingredients a good book contains, so that you come away certain that there is a solid series waiting to be unleashed on the world here.
I can’t wait and I’ll definitely follow these guys into issue #1 and beyond. Immensely enjoyable, lighthearted, yet mature and intelligence – the world needs more creator-owned comics like this. Bravo, gentlemen – now give us the series!