Thursday, August 25, 2005



I'm elbow-deep in copy edits and layouts for the fall MonkeyBrain Books titles, which is my only excuse for the infrequence of my recent posts, but I had to take a few moments to write a couple of words about the best comic I've read in ages. Frank Espinosa, who, according to this interview is " is a world-class animator with many credits under his name," including everyging "from re-designing the complete Looney Tunes characters in 1992, to creating series of Looney Tunes US Postage stamps. Ifthat weren't enough, he also designed the Baby Looney Tunes characters." And now he's turned his attention to comics, and to the science fiction genre, and created a work of beauty and genius.

Rocketo is the story of Rocketo Garrison, explorer and mapmaker, two thousand years in the future, in a world almost unrecognizable as our own. Equal parts Jack Kirby's Kamandi and Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, this is a word of pirates, floating cities, ancient robots, Tiger Men, Fish Men, and more. Only the Mappers, humans who can turn their flesh to steel and operate like human compasses, are able to navigate this strange disjointed world. Earth, now called Lucerne, is known as "The Shattered World."

I'm very grateful that I've already handed in my novel Paragaea: A Planetary Romance, which draws its inspiration from much of the same sources, since I worry that if I hadn't, I'd have my head full of Lucerne while charting the progress of my own characters through their own strange landscape (which, in an earlier draft, was referred to often as "the Broken Earth"). As it is, I'm just glad for the chance to read and admire Espinosa's slowly unfolding epic.

The first issue of Rocketo may have already sold out (I had to weedle and cajole my local comic shop to get a copy for myself), but hopefully Speakeasy will get it back into print quickly. The preview issue, Rocketo #0, was the hit of San Diego Comic Con this year, though I missed my chance to pick up a copy there.

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