Review: 50SIGNAL #1

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Created by Nick Gonzo
Published by Madius Comics

My first impression of 50SIGNAL by Nick Gonzo is that it looks like a newspaper funnies strip.

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It is not my particular flavor of comic art, but it involves space travel and it has a certain charm so I am quite happy in my reading of it. It flows, the art is so simple that it is a quick read – and you take it all in quite easily. This to me is a sign of a good comic; if I sponge it up and don’t have to go back over it a few times to get it to sink in, or put it down because I am struggling to continue then it is a win.

It almost has that slight loneliness of the film Moon. The isolated worker bee doing his job and trying to keep himself chipper, the friendship bond with the ship itself (like the computer). Though it has that melancholia just under the surface, it also has a light-hearted flow and cheery disposition making it an easy read. The protagonist is chatty and not at all as business-like in his dialogue as he is in the carrying out of his duty. Within a few simple pages the groundwork for his background and general nature/attitude is laid out- the pair have both been grown together genetically for space travel and each other. They like what they do and have a pride in their place in the universe. This overrides any sadness, and I am not yet yawning – actually I am quite endeared to it.

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I like the simplistic view and wording of our protagonist. He doesn’t use overblown technical terms, it is like a kid thrown into space adventure with the inbuilt know how, talking about ”data stuff” and how he is ”proper glad”. I think this is part of the route of this comics charm. He sounds like a nice bloke chatting with you down the pub.

I was halfway through the comic before I realised that all the lettering was hand written, again adding to that simple and childlike charm.  The story quickly gets bizarre when our protagonist finds an entity in a giant space corpse (he has followed a 50 signal, or distress signal), which insists he has been there before despite no memory of this and it leaves us on a cliff hanger as this entity sends him through a conjured door to prove a point, which seems like we are about to join our little spaceman on a whole new kind of exploration.

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It is unprofessional, and messy at times in the lettering or art but this does not detract from the comic, it fits well and I have to admit I would like to see where it goes.

I am a little stumped as to how to peg this one, I don’t think it would need professional lettering, or art. it fits as a whole and though it feels childlike and simple it has an intelligence and depth I think we are just scraping the surface of. I might be wrong but I feel like this one may get a lot more philosophical!

If you want to grab a copy then follow the link to Madius Comics web shop, #2 should be available soon.