Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Kellogg's Aldebaran

I've mentioned Cinebooks before, a publisher reprinting popular European comic strips in English editions reflecting the European album format rather than the US trade format. I get the impression that Cinebook started reprinting humour/kiddie fare (primarily as there are umpteen Lucky Luke collections already) and have only just started diversifying into the older market. I have zero interest in the humour stuff but have dabbled with their 12+ and 15+ ranges. Both Alpha and IR$ are solid espionage thrillers and I'll pick up the next volumes but definitely my favourite of the range by far is Aldebaran.

Created by the Brazilian artist Leo, each Cinebook collection contains two 48-page album. There are five albums set on Aldebaran and another five moving on to Betelgeuse, so Cinebook will collect these over five volumes before hopefully moving on to Antares, the first album of which was published last year.

Aldebaran is a sci fi story set on the colonised world of Aldebaran, which was inhabited by man sometime in the 21st Century before contact with Earth was cut off a century later. Aldebaran is a marine world with the islands reflecting a contemporary society. There are no lasers, clones or other science fiction elements beyond native animals, transport is powered by either electric engines, sail power or the wind and the colony is ruled over by an almost fascistic religious ruling body. When a small fishing village is destroyed by a mysterious creature, the only survivors are 17 year old fisherman Mark Sorensen, a girl he fancies and her 13 year old sister Kim Kellar. As they attempt to move on to the nearest city to start a new life, they become slowly involved with a mystery involving the creature responsible for their home's destruction. This mystery slowly hints at intrigue concerning unusual abilities the creature can have on humans...

I can't really compare this to any other thing I've read as it's so unique. The art is gorgeous, reminiscent of an ultra-clean line Eric Shanower style with nice watercolour embellishment rather than computer colours. The dialogue occasionally hits an odd note (it is translated after all) but generally the story is scripted and constructed well enough and peopled with distinct individuals to draw readers in. There's annoyingly little information I can find regarding the series online (some untranslated pages are available to view by clicking on specific albums at and a nice piece of CG animation at ) but I'd definitely recommend this to anybody looking to try something solid beyond the spandex genre.

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