cover image From Now On

From Now On

Malachi Ward. Alternative (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-934460-91-7

This collection of short SF comics by indie comics veteran Ward (Prophet Strikefile) will invariably draw comparisons to The Martian Chronicles, both for its subject matter and its flash fiction approach to storytelling. Like Bradbury, Ward offers brief insights into worlds far away, both in distance and time. He clearly delights in dreaming up these distant places, though he only inhabits them for a few pages at a time. The stories work best when they juxtapose the fantastic settings with the banal lives of those who live there, such as the astronaut who weighs the absurdity of various Star Trek episodes in a running monologue while exploring an alien world. The b&w art is reminiscent of a more tightly inked Brandon Graham, with whom Ward sometimes collaborates. The stories don’t always feature an obvious payoff, but each has its share of interesting ideas, aesthetically or plot-wise, and they invariably leave the reader wishing Ward would expand a few into longer, more developed pieces. (Nov.)