Written & created by Chris Sides
Art & Lettering by Jake Rowlinson
Colours by Daniel Franco
Graphic design & additional editing by Ken Reynolds
Published by Markosia Enterprises
Launching at London Super Comic Con
The Story: 2046. Will McGillis, an astrophysicist, is contracted last minute to join the crew of the AMALA in low-Earth orbit, who are part of an orbital clean-up operation; one that aims to rid Earth’s various orbital patterns of space debris, with the future intention of building a new space station/port.
This is routine stuff, but unknown to McGillis, the AMALA’s crew have been sub-contracted by a mysterious client to gain access to and retrieve sensitive information from the old, almost completely burnt-out husk of the International Space Station, in permanent high-Earth orbit. McGillis is betrayed and blown out of the AMALA’s airlock into space. Unknown to the backstabbing crew, however, McGillis has had extensive military training. Willing to do whatever it takes to get back to Earth and to his family, Will McGillis must perform the impossible…
IMPOSSIBLE is an 86 page graphic novel and the first in a planned trilogy. It’s the first official book in THE FROSTBYTE LEGACY, a series of stories set within a fictional future history of the world, where Frostbyte Industries, a vast, multi-national and incredibly influential technology company, is the one constant.
IMPOSSIBLE is the first ‘official’ story set in a fictional future history of the world that’s been marinading at the back of my brain for a considerable amount of time. There are currently two in development with Markosia (IMPOSSIBLE and another graphic novel), plus a three-issue mini-series, with more to come.
Each of the stories are standalone, so you don’t need any knowledge of any of the other books to make sense of what you’re reading. Occasionally, though, they link overtly, sometimes relatively subtly (to the point where, they’ll link with stuff that’s not been released/ that’s in development), but they’re all linked in some way.
The Preview: I was lucky enough to get an early look at this new book from my old mucker Chris Sides. I hate to compliment the man who once wore a T Shirt that read “Shut Up Tony”, but this is genuinely a next level for the small press world.
Sidesey takes the writing and plotting side of things like very few others do in the small press field. He crafts and strips down and rewrites so that what he produces is of the highest quality.
Impossible is the first in the series and I am already plaguing him with texts saying “C’mon on Sidesy, where’s issue 2?” I am, I know, prone to hyperbole, but this is one of the most expertly put together comics I have read on the scene for an age. It is honed down so there isn’t anything that doesn’t add to the mood and story. A story that keeps you guessing throughout.
We also don’t get a hint of decompression as is common place elsewhere. This builds you up, keeps you guessing throughout and shafts you with a cracking ending.
The art by Jake Rowlinson has a solid foot in both the humour/character side of illustration but also manages to carry weight with the action and drama. He reminds me a little of the work of Simon Roy on The Field a couple of years ago, out of Image Comics. Jake sorts them men from the boys with some excellent facial acting and you can always tell who is who and what they are thinking.
A small niggle would be that a couple of the space ship models seem a little less detailed than scenes elsewhere in the story but I’m sure that readers won’t mind that too much with the gold elsewhere.
Colourist Daniel Franco doesn’t let the team down either and I have to admit that the change from “Earth” style settings to the blacks, blues and greys of outer space is spot on as I read it on a backlit iPad screen. There’s some superb use of moody spaceship interior lighting too, as you can see below.
It’s also edited by the mighty (and really, really busy) Ken Reynolds and with ‘The Kenster’ on board you really can’t go wrong.
• Impossible is launching at London Super Comic Con and worldwide on Friday 25th August 2017 and includes pinups from Jake and Dan, as well as a guest pin-up by Reckless Hero’s Chris Imber and Chris Jenkins
Many thanks for reading.
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.