Sean Maher's Quality Control

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rocketo: An impressive launch

Yeah, lame pun. I was too weak to resist it. I wonder if they titled the book with that in mind?

Anyway, it's gotta be a short one today because I have double-work. But I'd be hugely remiss if I didn't draw your attention to an awesome new book released just last week called Rocketo #1.

Creator Frank Espinosa (together with co-writer Marie Taylor) has a hell of a neat new series on his hands. Rocketo seems to be an adventure series, but there's a lot more brewing in the pot. There's a complex web of stories within stories being woven in just this first issue; a family life is developed effectively, establishing unique relationships between the child and each of his parents before being seriously shaken up at the issue's end; we learn some hugely important bits of the history of Rocketo's world (which is basically a crazy futuristic Earth but without any of the predictable sci-fi elements), including a giant devil worm attack; and we get it all in a wide-screen style format (stapled along what appears to be the top of the cover) with artwork that actually takes advantage of the space.

The writing is solid and points to a number of really fascinating possible directions for the series without being predictable. The artwork is a swashbuckling blast that puts me in mind of some of Darwyn Cooke's stuff; futuristic and old-school at the same time. There are bits where the storytelling isn't quite as clear as I'd like and I can't tell what's in a particular panel, but it's not enough to really sully my read. The book's too sprawling and exciting and big.

Between this launch, and bringing Elk's Run and Helios into their fold, and my as-yet unsated interest in reading The Hunger, I'm really starting to raise my eyebrow at this Speakeasy Comics. They've got a previews section for a bunch of their comics (including Rocketo, though I'm a little unclear on the issue #0 vs. issue #1 thing - has this book already been launched?), and they're putting out a lot of books I'm really interested in. Where did they come from? What's the deal? It warrants some investigation on my part.

Rocketo #1 will suit any reader just fine as a first issue, I think, and I highly recommend you try to track one down. If you have any trouble, you can ask your retailer to re-order the book using Diamond Previews code JUN053157.

And I'm off.

P.S. - Randy Lander took a look at issue #0 last week at The Fourth Rail, for any who're interested. Just scroll down about five books. Or read those reviews; they're all for first issues of new titles, making it a pretty damn valuable page (third in a series, no less).


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