Created by Nick Gonzo
Published by Madius Comics
The Comic: 50 Signal is a comic about space exploration and facing the unknown, an extended meditation on solitude, told from the perspective of a vat-grown astronaut. Raised by machines, our hero scours an unfamiliar wilderness planet, only to find what he expected…
Nick Gonzo is a writer/artist. He created things in the past. They were deemed illegal and unfit for human consumption, so therefore he created some comics: Harvey Spig, The Tree and Punk Rock Apocalypse.
50 Signal is being released by Madius Comics, a new production house, run by Nick, Robin Jones and Brad Holman. The whole aim of Madius is to release fun, interesting and challenging comics and to create a stable for writers and artists to produce together!
The Review: I was lucky enough to get sent a preview copy of this upcoming release from Madius Comics and the first issue is fun and full of style and quirkiness.
The book opens on a song lyric narrated by the central Spaceman character. “Space Travel’s in my blood…” from “Another Girl, Another Planet” by The Only Ones, a line that is applicable to a couple of themes of this book. The Spaceman is a genetically engineered character sent on a mission with his Spaceship/Girlfriend to explore a strange planet.
The planet in question is full of downright strange and exotic creatures and ruins. (And, it’s also fair to say, fairly full of SF homages as well). As the Spaceman’s mission progresses and twists, so do the visuals and narration. The Spaceman discovers a tunnel (of sorts) and explores. What will he discover? It’s not what you would expect, I can guarantee that.
50 Signal Issue 1 was great fun to read. It picks holes in the Spaceman sub-genre and you see flashes of 2001; A Space Odyssey, Prophet from Image Comics, Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett’s short comedy strips for Marvel UK and Doctor Who Magazine, Silent Running, The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and even some Euro SF weirdness like The Survivors by Leo. This is all mashed up into an ongoing epic that still holds onto the concepts of introspection and the lonely space traveller at its centre.
The art, as you can see, is in a black and white cartoony style. It has a real edge to it as well and pokes you with little witty moments. A sign on a wall in the later stages of the issue proclaims “Sleep is Health”, for example. Moments like this play with the reader. Is this a dream? Is this the afterlife? That sort of thing.
I really hope that this comes out at a pace. It’s great fun and can easily be read in issues or will make a great collection after a few more issues hit the shops.
• The release date of 50 Signal Issue 1 is still to be confirmed but you can look for Issue 1 or anything else Madius Comics are producing at http://madiuscomics.bigcartel.com
Many thanks for reading.