Writer/Creator: Jermaine Boyd
Artist: Gwynn Tavares
Letterer: Zakk Saam, Kuen Tang
Editor: M.J. Saam, Brittany Matter
Available: Now, via www.who-is-Amelia-Sky.com (digital and hard copy) and ComiXology
Price: Digital copies are $2 to $4; physical copies range from $6 to $13, with some nifty extras thrown in
Having successfully funded its first three issues through Kickstarter (issue three reached its funding goal October 1), Jermaine Boyd and Gwynn Tavares’ sci-fi/survival horror Amelia Sky is now available for purchase for non-backers via the comic’s website and ComiXology.
Amelia Sky’s world has been flipped upside-down and sideways. Waking a month after having been separated from her parents during an apparent alien invasion, one which saw the majority of humanity either slain or sent to an off-world sanctuary (and during which her own father sought to kill her to avoid her capture by a mysterious and as-yet unidentified “they”), she finds herself alone in a world now dominated by shriekers, a horrid spider-like alien creature (similar to the invaders in A Quiet Place) which feeds off human life force. Making her way into a ravaged world, she befriends a stray dog, and her adventure through the wasteland to find her parents begins.
Along the way, Amelia will encounter other survivors, all with their own trauma to share either in word or deed. And the further she travels, the more she comes to question everything. Are her parents even alive? If so, where are they? For that matter, where is everyone? What happened, and why? Where is Sanctuary, and is it really what the people of the United States were herded into thinking it was?
Oh, and apparently, previously unbeknownst to her, Amelia has some skills. Like, X-Men level skills. Skills she still isn’t quite aware of, but which may be the key to humanity’s survival.
No pressure, kid.
In Amelia Sky, science fiction and evolution junkie Jermaine Boyd weaves an engaging tale of survival, conspiracy, horror and courage. Three issues in, there’s still a lot more we don’t know about young Amelia, her abilities and her parents than what we do know, and we’ve yet to truly figure out the nature of the shriekers. Are they an invading alien force? Or are they (as one of Amelia’s allies fervently believes) part of a governmental conspiracy to replace humanity? Or something completely different? For that matter, what are the origin and parameters of Amelia’s nascent powers?
Boyd is taking his time feeding us the details, letting us experience his mythology as Amelia does…and the book is the better for it: he does a nice job resisting the rookie writer mistake of beating us over the head with his BIG THINGS BREWING, instead allowing the tension to build on a slow simmer. The immediate and constant threat of the creatures themselves, coupled with the over-arching dread of some greater machination placing all of humanity at risk, one we only get glimpses at, but know it’s there? A wicked brew I’m happy to partake of.
Gwynn Tavares’ color-washed art throughout the series is excellent, her wash style giving the entire book a feeling of being just slightly off. Which fits, ‘cause, well, the world of Amelia Sky IS more than slightly off. The wash style demands a fairly limited color palette, essentially a couple essential colors in varying shades and tints, a lot of grays and the occasional splash of bright red. Tavares’ work is well-realized, though, and her line strong enough to allow the action and necessary detail to pop. It is at once beautiful, haunting and menacing.
Zakk Saam (issue one) and Kuen Tang’s (issues two and three) lettering is effective and well-placed. Their employment of varying sound effect fonts (particularly Tang’s) are especially effective, and I really like Tang’s method for expressing the shriekers’, well, shrieks.
Is Amelia Sky perfect? Have all the polish of a slick Marvel, or even Boom! production? No. It’s got its rough edges, minor pacing and continuity issues and some things to sort out, though none of which negatively impacts the storytelling. And it suffers that common self-published book dilemma of at times extreme spacing between issues (issue one published in 2016). But it’s exactly the kind of book the Pullbox exists to shine a spotlight on: an independently-produced, fun book put together by talented, passionate individuals looking to find their place in the comic industry. And for all that, it’s definitely an enjoyable read.
The first three issues of Amelia Sky can be found either on the book’s website (www.who-is-Amelia-Sky.com) or ComiXology, with physical copies of the book (as well as shirts and other fun merch) available exclusively via the website. Also, watch for future Kickstarter entries for issue four and beyond.
Review by Andy Patch