Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Space Clusters by Cover and Nino

'Space Clusters' by Arthur Byron Cover and Alex Nino

'Space Clusters' was published in 1986, as one of a number of 48- to 64-page DC 'Original Graphic Novels' devoted to fantasy and sf themes.

As 'Clusters' opens, Lieutenant Kara Basuto, a galactic bounty hunter, is in pursuit of Ethan Dayak, thief and murderer and the galaxy's most celebrated outlaw.

Dayak has the uncanny luck to escape from Basuto's grasp time and again, although not without cost.

In a desperate move to escape the relentless Basuto, Ethan Dayak decides to place his spaceship on autopilot, lock himself in suspended animation, and leave the galaxy altogether.....

Kara Basuto has no intention of letting her quarry escape. She follows Dayak into the depths of space....where both of them will become something no human has ever become: 'Space Clusters'......

'Clusters' is a mixed success. The narrative starts off reasonably well, but becomes increasingly fragmented and incoherent, as if author Cover was intent on retaining the New Wave stylings he used in his novels and short stories of the 70s ('Autumn Angels', 'The Platypus of Doom', 'In Between Then and Now') even though the graphic novel format is not particularly well-designed for such an approach.

What salvages 'Clusters' is Alex Nino's artwork. Doing away with a linear, panel-based structure in favor of full-page collages, Nino's art is vibrant and imaginative and gives the book an integral 'graphic novel' aesthetic.

For this reason, fans of sf comics and art may want to pick up a copy of 'Space Clusters'.

1 comment:

Edo Bosnar said...

Your short review pretty much sums up my feelings on this book, albeit somewhat more charitably. I lost interest in the story about halfway through, but Nino's art is just so gorgeous. You're almost better off just ignoring the story and treating this like a lush picture book...