Escape from Terra, Vol. 1

Sandy Sandfort, Scott Bieser and Lee Oaks, Big Head, $12.95 paper (189p) ISBN 978-0-9743814-7-3
The vision of outer space as a neo-American wild west has long fascinated sci-fi fans and writers, and this graphic novel continues the tradition, blending adventure stories of evil empires and assassins with a heavy dose of libertarian philosophy. This collection of two years' worth of the Web comic assembles the story of an anarchist asteroid society rebelling against a totalitarian Earth government that seeks to expropriate its wealth to maintain a collapsing welfare state. The colorful cast includes the French (natch) bureaucrat Guy and his voluptuous assistant, Fiorella, who both come to sympathize with the space colonists' plight. The stylish realism of Bieser and Oaks' artwork is a treat while the story wears its agenda on its sleeve. The scientific and political discussions of the second and third stories are particularly engaging, and anxiety about tax-hungry unsustainable governments is certainly a timely theme if one looks at Greece or the Tea Party movement. While the idealization of anarchy goes all the way to gun-toting freedom-loving colonists who decide to throw due process under the bus, this is still a throwback to science fiction with ideas. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
Genre: Comics
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