Martian Lit‘s first collected edition, Martian Comics Volume 1: Moon to Moon, is a beautiful 240-page book collecting 13 stories, written by Julian Darius with work by 15 different artists and colourists. The stories span 18,000 years (about 10,000 Martian years) of Martian civilisation, from their moon landing to our own. It’s on Kickstarter now, both in digital and as an oversized paperback, and you should really check it out.
With a striking cover by Janaina Medeiros, the book features artwork by Mansyur Daman, Cloves Rodrigues, Andi Supriyono, Sergio Tarquini, Jason Muhr, Marlena Mozgawa Lenamo, David A. Frizell, Steven Legge, Sara Nietto, Ace Continuado and Jeffrey Huet. Colours are by Fahriza Kamaputra, Donovan Yaciuk, R. L. Campos, Diego Rodriguez, Roni Setiawan and Andrei Tabacaru. Letters are by Julian Darius, Steven Legge and Colin Bell.
Martian Lit publishes offbeat, fearless, smart, and otherwise Martian work in all genres and media, and this book has been seven years in the making. If you back their crowdfunder in the next few days, you can reserve either the digital or the oversized print edition at a much lower early-bird price.
All stories were written and edited by Dr. Julian Darius, who founded the influential Sequart Organization to promote comics as a legitimate form of art. In addition to making comics, he’s written several books and produced several documentaries about comics history.
Martian Comics Volume 1: Moon to Moon opens and closes with a story illustrated by Jason Muhr (Voracious), with colours by R.L. Campos. Both depict a moon landing — the first by Martians, the second by humans.
“The Canals of Earth” offers a myth about a Martian god, explores Martian science fiction, and depicts early Martian exploration of Earth. It’s illustrated by Mansyur Daman, colored by Donovan Yaciuk and Diego Rodriguez, with special pages by Marlena Mozgawa Lenamo and David A. Frizell.
“Dinosaurs of Mars!” explores the Martian fascination with dinosaurs. It’s illustrated by Mansyur Daman, with Jason Muhr and Steven Legge, coloured by Fahriza Kamaputra and Andrei Tabacaru.
“Safari,” set in the Martian city of Khylos, depicts a Martian son’s coming of age, as he struggles to understand his father’s participation in a violent Martian ritual. It’s illustrated by Mansyur Daman, with colours by R.L. Campos.
The 58-page “Letters from the Underworld,” also set in Khylos, offers a counterbalance to “Safari” by focusing on girls coming of age, as they hear a tale about their city’s connection to the mythical Martian underworld. It’s illustrated by Cloves Rodrigues, with colours by Fahriza Kamaputra, and special pages by Marlena Mozgawa Lenamo and the team of Cloves Rodrigues and Roni Setiawan.
The 56-page “The Second Most Dangerous Game,” illustrated by Mansyur Daman in glorious black-and-white, recasts Richard Cornnell’s classic story “The Most Dangerous Game” as a commentary on the cruelty of Martians as well as humans, how rituals (including the one seen in “Safari”) change over time, and a writer’s guilt.
Finally, six shorter stories (ranging from three to 12 pages each) offer imaginative tales featuring ancient Egypt, the prophet Ezekiel, Jesus, medieval Europe, World War Two, and the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination. Told in different narrative styles, they’re illustrated by Andi Supriyono, Sergio Tarquini, Cloves Rodrigues, and Sara Nietto, with colours by Fahriza Kamaputra, R.L. Campos, and Donovan Yaciuk.
An art section in the back of the book features additional work by Mansyur Daman, Julian Darius, Andi Supriyono, David A. Frizell, Janaina Medeiros, Cloves Rodrigues, Ace Continuado, Jeffrey Huet, Donovan Yaciuk and Roni Setiawan.
I’ve been lucky enough to see a PDF of the final book, which is ready to go to print when it gets its deserved backing, and it really is magnificent, conjuring a real sense of wonder.
Do check out the crowdfunder on Kickstarter for more information.
• If you want more information, you can check out all Martian Comics comics on ComiXology. Visit the official webpage for Martian Comics and join the series on Facebook. If you’d like to subscribe to their comics and get them before anyone else(!), you can do so on Patreon. Finally, if you sign up for the Martian Lit mailing list, they’ll give you a free PDF book