Story: Josh Barbeau and Sam Rayburn
Editing: Josh Sellers
Art: Alan Gallo
Color: Paul Little
Logo: Lucas Gattoni
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Hollow Harbor
200 years ago, humanity split into four factions: The Skrytes, Underaneans, Cyborgs, and the Humans. Each fighting for power and survival, faction leaders must make life altering choices that will change everything. Earth After Mutation is a 120-paged, full colored graphic novel drenched in dystopian and sci-fi themes. This story invites you to immerse yourself in the massive world Josh Barbeau and Sam Rayburn have crafted, without feeling overloaded. The pacing keeps you wanting to keep turning the page, while allowing you take a breather and focus on the detailed, yet simple artwork by Alan Gallo. This graphic novel is visual storytelling done right.
I grew up in the world of young adult dystopian series like The Giver, Hunger Games, Gone, and The Maze Runner. There’s something so human about the genre. A lot of the time, there aren’t happy ending, and the choices made by the heroes and villains often result in consequences that impact an entire race. Justice, loyalty and mortality are prevalent themes portrayed in the dystopian genre and Earth After Mutation is no exception. What makes this first issue so intriguing, is the underlining fantastical elements incorporated within the first couple of pages. Sci-fi works well on its own, but once you add fantastical elements, the story is taken to a whole other level which is exemplified in Earth After Mutation.
The artwork sets the tone of the gritty action-packed story. The panels flow well and never feel displaced by the dialogue between characters. Alan Gallo creates a layout that is visually compelling, and Paul Little’s coloring is just right for the setting without feeling overwhelming. The backgrounds are simple. But this allows for the much-needed focus on character expressions, body language and architecture to stand out. This is shown in the floating city of the Skrytes, which reminds me of worlds such as, Asgard from Marvel and Thanagar from Detective Comics.
All in all, Earth After Mutation volume #1 is a convincing start to a series that features all the ingredients of a great sci-fi story. With its relevant themes of justice and survival, and the consequences of decisions made by leaders on behalf of an entire faction, this could be the start of a complex and nuanced story of survival.
Earth After Mutation is published by Hollow Harbor and has a Kickstarter program going on now. Donate now to help support future issues! Earth AM Kickstarter