Imagine Mad Men if it were about the crew of a live television Star Trek knock off and you have Satellite Sam, the latest creator owned work out of Image, by Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin. The premise of a comic about the production of a television show has lots of potential. Other mediums have had lots of success with the same concept, such as with the show Sports Night. Does Satellite Sam pull it off? Find out after the break!
Manages to deliver a complete story in one issue while setting up series plot threads.
Characters feel full and fit the period.
Noticeable anatomy problems with the art.
A NEW PERIOD PIECE
The first issue of Satellite Sam does what any good first issue does and sets up all the main characters and overarching plot lines of the series. What it does differently, however, is it throws the reader right into the middle of a the current crisis the production team, of the in-universe television show Satellite Sam, is facing. This makes for a very satisfying first issue, since we get to see the conclusion of this immediate crisis, while at the same time we see the genesis of the bigger plots that will carry the series. The characters are all flawed in that way where they fit right at home in the fifties setting. They all work together towards a common goal, while at the same time butting heads, which makes for delightful back and forth and is a really solid narrative device to easily showcase the relationships between everyone. The biggest problem with the book is that the main story thread does not feel as interesting or as natural as the sub plots, which are really what will get me to buy the next issue. The side stories also feel more intrenched in the themes and issues of the fifties as well, a good thing seeing as how the real strength of the book lies in how well it utilizes its nature as a period piece.
The art is very striking and unique, but is not without its problems. The design of clothing for everyone is very authentic and obviously had some time put into it, as did the backgrounds, which greatly enforce the fifties feeling. There are some very noticeable anatomy problems throughout the book, but they are redeemed by the subtly great panel work. Panels are framed in very interesting ways that help carry the book’s themes. The panel layout is also done very well, especially when its made to be more frantic as the characters get more disarrayed.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH PICKING UP
If you want something new out of your comics, then you should definitely pick this up, because it promises just that. If you are a fan of Mad Men then this book was made for the likes of you. If the setting does not appeal to you, then do not even bother giving it a second look.