Proxima Centauri #1
Story and art by Farel Dalrymple
Publisher: Image Comics
First issue in a new series.
“PROXIMA CENTAURI,” Part One 4.243 light-years from Earth, the teenage wizard adventurer Sherwood Breadcoat is stuck in the confounding spectral zone on the manufactured dimensional sphere, Proxima Centauri, looking for escape and a way back to his brother while dealing with his confusing emotions, alien creatures, and all sorts of unknown, fantastic dangers. In this issue The Scientist H. Duke sends Sherwood on a salvage mission and gives counsel to the troubled boy in his charge. PROXIMA CENTAURI will be six issues of PSYCHEDELIC SCIENCE FANTASY ACTION COMIC BOOK DRAMA starring Sherwood Breadcoat, “The Scientist” Duke Herzog, Dr. EXT the Time Traveler, the ghost M. Parasol, Shakey the Space Wizard, and Dhog Dahog.
Often in my comics reading, I feel more involved with the story than I do the art. When engaged, the art just comes on natural and I sink in, then realize something is special with the entire package. With Farel Dalrymple, whose work I enjoyed in many short stories, and the award-winning The Wrenchies…such is the other way around.
I love his art style, than feeling drawn in to the story.
So goes Proxima Centuari, a fine addition to Dalrymple’s visual storytelling legacy. But here, we have more space-faring sci-fantasy thrown in to some deeply imaginative concepts, inviting more story and art possibility than usual.
The first issue opens that world, to a surreal merger of fantasy and classic science-fiction, where the rules are made up, along the way. All sorts of oddities and knicky knacks are kind of running amuck, along with elements to the story freely floating about.
In the center of much, is the protagonist teenage wizard adventurer, Sherwood Breadcoat. Growing up, is a push and pull to his direction through a strange direction. Amidst his quest to leave and return to a normal life, he searches for his brother in a changing dimensional landscape. He has some odd friends who give some guidance, whether he likes or not.
Sherwood has a complex troubled young mind, shifting between disinterested to focused. He deals with the distractions of new rules, complex feelings, and transitioning away from adolescence.
Still, it’s all good fun, as exploration for the reader is carried both through this strange new world, and the view of our protagonist. Much like him, we can become easily lost in this psychedelic landscape, and a need to focus back on the direction of the story. Such is the visual nature of Dalrymple’s art, who puts so much into the settings filled with free-floating concepts and curiosities run amuck from his stylish strokes and spatter.
Darlymple’s signature placement of color sets a beautiful style, mixing earthly tones to the natural feel of structures, props and organics together in harmony. There is a surreal quality to his combinations, inviting the imaginative mind to dive deep.
I enjoyed the first issue, for its different style of storytelling and interesting elements, and developing dangers ahead hinted throughout. Such is not for everyone, as Darlymple’s art and story-giving remains unique, narrowing to specific tastes in comic reading.
Meanwhile, I look forward to the next issue.