Proxima Centauri #1
Creator: Farel Dalrymple
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Every once in a while, you come across a comicbook that feels different than anything else on the shelves. It takes a certain type of confidence and talent to step so far outside the box. Farel Dalrymple shows that he is not lacking in either with Proxima Centauri #1.
Proxima Centauri #1 begins with Sherwood: a typical bored teenager in a not so typical situation. He is stuck in a strange space station with a menagerie of even stranger characters and personalities. They are stuck millions of miles away from an earth that is not in appropriate shape. Despite this strange world and life, Sherwood only wants to find his missing brother.
From the first page it is obvious that Proxima Centauri #1 is going to be unique yet familiar at the same time. Despite living in an original setting, Sherwood still is dealing with and waxing poetic about typical teenage problems including boredom and if a girl likes him. It is those typical teenage problems that helps to really ground the story. Despite being in this fantastical land it makes it easy to relate to Sherman as he tries to find a way home to earth. Sherman of course is not the only character. We have an old mad scientist, an A.I., a Wizard, and many more. Dalrymple makes the smart choice to introduce these characters but leaves the specifics about them to later. It allows the reader to take in the dialogue and the beginning of Sherwood’s story without getting overwhelmed with the details.
The art is breathtaking yet simple at the same time. The use of colored pencils allows for Dalrymple to easily switch from detailed and engaging panels, to simple splash pages. The creatures, and creations within the book, are unique and at times disconcerting. However, even the vilest of monsters are given a childlike innocence because of the pastel color pallet that was used for Proxima Centauri #1.The unique use of panel layouts and changing the perspective and scale throughout adds to the disorientation for the reader. In a lesser talented artist this could have gone horribly wrong. Dalrymple, however, is able to use it just enough that it enhances the story and fantasy vibe.
Verdict: Buy it.
Proxima Centauri #1 is a book that you could buy for the story or for the art and be completely satisfied. The fact that Dalrymple is able to hit all the right notes for both means you are getting double the experience for your money. We learn enough here to make you curious about their adventure, while not overwhelming the reader with too much information. Unlike Sherman I was in awe of Proxima Centauri #1 from the first panel, and I look forward to seeing where we go next.