cover image Titan


François Vigneault. Oni, $19.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-62010-779-9

Good intentions are crushed by greed in this empathetic rendering of culture clash that unfolds amid the drama of an interstellar class war. João da Silva arrives as manager of a power plant on the moon Titan, imagining he’ll play the role of liberal reformer and improve relations between the 500-odd Terrans, colonists who hold all managerial and security jobs, and the 50,000 Titans, oversize grunt-level workers genetically modified to labor in low-gravity. The Terrans condescendingly see the “trolls” as brutish “giant men on tiny worlds,” while the Titans live by a moral code that values survival over sophistication: “You either take a beating or you give one.” Da Silva is assigned Titan Phoebe Mackintosh as a guide to the machinery, and the pair discover a surprising and sensual simpatico. As protests demanding “Titan for Titans” escalate into multi-planet warfare, da Silva and Mackintosh’s relationship puts both of them at risk. Vigneault makes masterful use of a limited color palette, depicting the rich texture of the industrial space station with hues of pink and black. The soft colors, quiet moments of shared intimacy, and detail in each character’s face create a tenderness unusual in a sci-fi rife with strikes and bloodshed. While many space-age stories warp toward a final frontier, Vigneault turns his characters and their loyalties inward and inside out, begging readers to ask who, in any capitalist society, is the real enemy? This blend of indie art and sci-fi social commentary will appeal to fans of the Bitch Planet and Paper Girls series. (Sept.)