By Flix Gillett
Self Published – Limited Print Run
The Book: 128 pages of Mockingbird’s space adventures, collecting the first three issues of Space: Out of this World with an additional 35 plus pages (that would have been Issue Four), plus exclusive behind-the-scenes preliminary sketches.
Lost in Space meets Alice in Wonderland for an all ages sci-fi tale of jeopardy and friendship.
Mockingbird thought a field trip to Angel-10 would be a breeze, but she hadn’t banked on the menacing presence of the Ulandi, the planet’s natural (or unnatural) inhabitants.
A young student of Practical Solar Mechanics, what could they possibly want with her? Or, with no friends, is she just being paranoid?
Either way, she’ll just die if she doesn’t get her assignment finished!
The Review: Released last year at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Mockingbird: Nightmare has been riding up and down a pile of books to review rather like Mockingbird careers happily around one of the most weirdly-run space bases you’re ever likely to see in comics. My apologies to Flix for the delay getting to it.
This edition of Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet is a labour of love, largely collecting comics created and published back in the 1990s, when some or our readers wouldn’t have even been born. Despite its “vintage” the story is wacky and fun, a joyful yet utterly bonkers tale with tips of the hat, perhaps, to Forbidden Planet and Space Invaders in equal measure.
For a start, the young Stranger in a A Strange Land Mockingbird is surrounded by crazy characters with their own appeal, not least of them the dog-like Monch, but all-action Diana and Shakespeare-spouting Phileas, alongside Doctor Sharnhalist (a humanoid badger with Machiavellian intent) and a brain floating in a tank (but you can ignore him, because everyone else does).
Flix quickly introduces the main characters to the tale, then the mysterious aliens that seemed to have once decided to leave human colonist be — but for some reason, have changed their mind, leading to many of the scrapes Mockingbird finds herself in.
If all this reminds you of strange dreams you may have had after eating a late-night pizza chopped with cheese, then you’re thinking along the right lines to get yourself into the mood for enjoying this tale. Flix delivers a rip-roaring, barely a breath taken tale in this collection, with unique art to match that occasionally reminds me of Nige Kitching, with tips of the hat to Nick Abadzis and yes, even, a touch of Hunt Emerson in terms of storytelling style. His work becomes more assured as the story continues, and the extra material included further ratchets up the fun.
If you like your space stories weird, then Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet is right up your spaceway.
Flix Gillett has been writing and drawing comics since he could first dribble on a piece of paper and stick a crayon in his eye. Creating such forgettable characters as Master Spy, Super Gramps, Dick Button, and of course, Battle Buster & the Battle Brigade — all before he’d even reached his teens!
Years later people started paying him to dribble on paper and stick crayons in his eyes. It was around this time he coined the phrase ‘self-unemployed’ to adequately describe his adventures in and out of the work place; dividing his time between drawing and writing with the world-changing occupations of data-entry and customer services.
• Flix Gillett is online at mockingbirdcomic.com, where you can also buy copies of Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet from him direct | Follow Flix on Twitter @mockingbirdcmc
• Mockingbird: Nightmare on Another Planet is also available digitally from Comixology and Kindle here (using this link helps support downthetubes)