We’re pretty big fans of independent comics here at ComixBrew, and it’s been my very recent pleasure to extend that sort of enthusiasm into the world of science communication. There aren’t many things more worthwhile than better understanding the world around you…a good beer while reading a comic perhaps…but not much more. After the Gold Rush is the marriage of at least two of these.
Miles Greb, who we’ve had on ComixBrew before, serves as creator and writer on the third issue of this lovely series, with Isaac La Russa on art and colors by Karolina Hankonen. We pick up with Scout a little bit after we left her in issue two. She is just as inquisitive even after the debacle she had with the Axman in the last issue. Spotting some farmland, she rushes in to see how the atmosphere here benefits plant growth, she even laments about her desire to be a “real botanist.”
Then, to all of our surprise, she meets another native! Another young girl named Preana – Pre for short – who we quickly learn is a Gemini and has some very radical views on the natural world – well, radical compared to what Scout knows. The reader is most definitely experiencing the joy of Scout’s discovery along with her, but in issue three it starts to get a little bit more than dangerous to question the way the world works and utilizing science as a tool of understanding.
From a writing perspective the most appealing part of the narrative has to be how Scout addresses each problem and works through to a solution logically. Much in the same way Andy Weir had Mark Watney handle surviving on Mars, Scout approaches contact with a hostile mob, witchcraft accusation, and escape with a steady problem solving wit coupled with an extremely endearing humor. And the hard science! Once again, Greb has done his homework and quite successfully weaves science into his narrative.
The art is just as superb as it was the last time we encountered Scout after her landing on the planet. Not only in her characterization, but during those pages with very little dialog. It is the hallmark of a great artist to be able to tell a story with very little words. And then there’s the townsfolk we meet in this issue. What a treat it was to see The Crucible come to life in a science oriented book. Got to love that irony.
There’s plenty more worth noting in this book, not to mention the stuff afterwards like the Peer Review, which is a fantastic little addition to the story. Go visit After The Gold Rush to get your own copy of all three issues. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to have Miles back on the podcast in the near future to talk about this and other projects of his.