Thursday, March 13, 2008

Space Double #3 – A Review

The great thing about doing a Space Doubles review is that you get to read two books in one comic. I love the concept of Space Doubles because I have missed having the old sci/fi horror types of stories that used to populate so many comics and other popular fiction from yesteryear.

I think the idea of exploring space was starting to become a real possibility and the danger of the unknown was almost palatable. When we project that feeling we can imagine almost any horror and these stories resonate with that feeling. I’m sure the sea monsters of old were generated by the fear of sailing off into the unknown.

I have really enjoyed the first two issues and I encourage you to go out and make your store order a copy so you don’t miss out and I appreciate the opportunity to do an eary review of Space Doubles #3.

Story A – Everywhere I Look Bugs
Writer: Scott Closter
Art: Philip Schaufelberger
Gray Scaler: T. L. Collins

First off the story is by Scott Closter who is the brains behind this entire concept and one heck of a nice guy. Scott has been so generous of his time with the blog, that I had some trepidation going into this review, because if I hadn’t liked the story I would have hated to pan it. No problem as this story was a gem.

The story starts out with Dr. Thodol helping out a patient who is a celebrity Space Man and someone who has apparently become the face of the program. Now the name of the doctor was so damn odd that once I read the story I went back and googled the name and found out the meaning of the name and it made the story absolutely perfect.

Steve Cook is the central character in this play and as he talks to the therapist he states that he sees bugs where ever he goes. The therapist asks Steve to recount when he first starting having the problem and we go back to Steve’s last space mission.

As the story progresses we flash back and forth between the mission and the doctor’s office. The creepy part was seeing the doctor’s office start to have more and more bugs in it. Also the doctor himself started to turn bug like. As that part progresses we also see what happened to Steve on the mission and learn how Steve’s life come to a horrific end.

I do not want to give it away, but the way Scott tied the whole thing together was excellent and as I said made so by understanding the meaning of Dr. Thodol’s name.

The art work was solid. I loved the space ship scene and the crash landing was all done very well. Philip’s work still has a way too go to make me look out for his name, but it conveyed the story in great fashion.

So Story A gets an “A” as I was thoroughly entertained and was sold once I learned how it all tied together.

Story B – Escape Pod
Writer: Mark Smith
Art: Matthew Huynh
Color/Grayscales: Josh Norwood

This was another fun story. Escape Pod can be read as a young adult’s wish fulfillment. The central character is a young man who is stuck in a dead end job, who lives to ogle what ever good looking woman who comes into the store and then ends his nights with cigarettes and beer. This is a story that portrays a kind of hopeless and endless existence that seems to be going nowhere for our main character.

A chance accident causes a blow to his head and his memories come flooding back and he remembers he is a space explorer evaluating new worlds for his race. Again I will not give away the ending but he does end up in bed with a hot babe. Not the normal horrific ending we have grown accustomed to in Space Doubles, but just as valid of a choice.

Again this can be read in multiple ways. The ending could be a delusion caused by the blow to his head or it could be what actually is “the truth”. A story that makes you smile and it makes you stop a second and think about our lives. Great job by the writer Mark Smith.

The artwork reminded me of Becky Cloonan and Ryan Kelly. There is heaviness to the line work and plenty of detail. It has a nice fluid feel to it and has an “indy” vibe to it, in a good way. The layout and design of the pages were well done and Matthew can definitely tell a story.

Story “B” gets an “A”.

Remember that both stories are conveying all of this information in just eleven pages. Short stories are much tougher then longer stories because you have to get in and get out in almost no time and try to tell a story without being heavy handed.

I have enjoyed every issue so far of Space Doubles and I think issue #3 is the best to date.


  1. Hey Jim, I totally agree on what you said about the art by that Philip Schaufelberger guy, he has his ups and downs.


  2. I'm sure he will get there one day :)