It’s really easy to do grim comics. It has been for ages – you just go for full-on horror, or hyper dark crime, or rip the capes of your heroes and have them standing around bearing their teeth and being angsty all the time. There’s a place for that too, everyone likes a good bit of grim fiction every now again. If they didn’t, Raymond Chandler would have written, “Down these mean streets no one goes because they look a bit scary” and where would we be then? Without Raymond Chandler’s books for a start.
The thing is, though, there’s more to life than grim, and that’s something Marc Jackson knows very well. The writer and artist of Man From Space , Marc’s created a comic which is surreal, cheerful and ridiculously charming.
The idea is simple: our hero is a man and he’s come from space. In fairness, he did have a spacecraft but it crashed whilst he was taking a nap. His best friend, Michael – a fish – was at the controls at the time and whilst Michael’s a little traumatised, the Man is weirdly zen about it. They’ve crashed, but thanks to his Hand-Held Honkatron they can at least tell what direction… something… is in. So off the pair go, bickering as only an amiable, shirtless shoeless man from space and his fish best friend can.
The friendly nature of the book is reflected in Marc’s big, expressive art work. Again, there’s a hint of The Mighty Boosh to the cheerfully odd cast but it’s never more than a hint and Marc has a distinctive, likable style that makes each page easy, and fun, to read.
Man From Space is a gentle, odd, funny book about a man, his best friend and the adventures they get up to. It’s not grim, it’s not dark but it is completely charming and it absolutely deserves your time.