Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Outer Space Men

A few months back, I (digitally) crossed paths with Eric Hayes. Eric is a very talented writer who took a set of very silly yet endearing toys from our collective youths (The Outer Space Men) and turned them into a gripping, well-written, and wonderfully illustrated graphic novel* that took these great toys and translated them into a well-thought out, well-executed, and thoroughly readable tale full of action, philosophy, and intrigue.

Yep, all based on a toy from the ‘70s.

Now I know that you are all used to reading repackaged serialized adventures that have been padded out to fill five or six issues so that they fill out a “full length” story. This is so not that. This is a real graphic novel that is nearly 150 pages long full glossy cover and interiors, measuring a standard comicbook-sized 6.5 x 10.25". This is a very fine package, and impressive in its own right, plus the art is clean, vibrant, and better than most of what I see these days passing for professional art. This book is über slick!

Hayes takes the concept of these handful of children’s toys and brilliantly transforms them into a viable Sci-Fi concept worth of Golden-era pulps. This story is so clearly well-though out by someone who is interested in not only delivering a super fine product, but an intelligent story as well. Hayes most excellently weaves real science, history, and and politics into this story as he crafts a very believable epic adventure that engages the reader on multiple levels.

I’m not sure how he was able to acquire the rights to translates these characters from the dim, dusty corridors of my ill-spent youth, into the full color reading pleasures of my here-and-now, but I’m ever so grateful that he did. This is a great story, and certainly is capable of spring-boarding the characters and concepts into another graphic novel, an on-going series, or (dare we say it), the next big-blockbuster action-packed, summer film.

I seriously wish Eric all the luck in the world. It is for certain that he has a heaping helpful of it already. Credit where credit is due Dept. The art chores on the graphic novel were handled by Rudolf Montemayor and Marc Borstel.

*Graphic Novel: for those of you in the audience who don’t understand (and probably aren’t reading this blog anyway) that’s a long-form, complete-in-one-package, single story with a beginning, middle and end, told with words and pictures, not a series of short, thematically similar, tales loosely strung together with a hastily-conceived, framing device. Oh, and don’t worry Eric, this comment has nothing to do with you, or you most-excellent book, ask me off-line and I’ll be happy to explain.

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