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!

SUMMARY

Pros
Manages to deliver a complete story in one issue while setting up series plot threads.
Characters feel full and fit the period.
Cons

Noticeable anatomy problems with the art.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Sam1_CoverSatellite Sam #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Cover: Howard Chaykin, Jesus Aburtov
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50

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.

MAD ART

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.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Elijah Williams

Elijah Williams

As a young boy my parents showed me a movie. This movie involved dinosaurs, in a park, on an island. I was so awestruck by the fantastical idea. "Dinosaurs? Interacting with HUMANS?!?" From that moment on I was a bona fide geek. I loved it all, cartoons, movies, video games, everything. Unfortunately comics eluded my radar until middle school, when my father handed me a trade paper back of Marvels. The rest is history.

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2 Comments

  1. Oldcomicfan
    July 10, 2013 at 7:11 am — Reply

    I assume this is going to be a limited series, like Chaykin’s Power and Glory? I’ve always liked his artwork, even if Chaykin is unable to draw a pretty lady who doesn’t look trampy and slutty. However, when he works on an ongoing series, like American Flagg, Chaykin lost interest only part way through and turned the book over to lesser artists, and the story wasn’t interesting enough to survive without Chaykin’s art. Since I grew up on television of the 50s and 60s, I may pick this series up, if I can find it. (No local comic book shop, sob sob)

  2. MD Stone
    July 31, 2013 at 12:54 am — Reply

    I love Mad Men and I love Chaykin, but this was boring as hell and difficult to follow.

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