The biggest challenge in telling a story through a mini-series is to know how much to reveal when. If you give away too much too soon, readers could lose interest. On the other hand, if you hold your cards too close to the vest for too long, the same thing might happen. The trick is to give readers just enough to keep them coming back for more.
In Alter-Life #2, the creators do a superb job of keeping us on the edge of our seats while giving us new questions … and even some answers! (I reviewed the first issue in this series at this link.)
I’ve received this issue as a result of my supporting its Kickstarter project, but the folks who make the comic are already hard at work on Alter-Life #3 and have a Kickstarter going for it at this time and will conclude on Friday, July 28.
Writer: Caleb Thusat
Artist: Katrina Kuntsmann
Published by: Village Comics
Cover price: $5.00
Solicitation: What is Alter-Life? Imagine, if you will, that all possible worlds exist and that they are just as real as the world we live in. If one’s consciousness was able (at the time of death) to suddenly escape one world, one body, and enter another, true death would only come at the moment all of those worlds cease to exist. Alter-Life is a way to experience those other lives. Those other existences. It is a way to put a stopper in death, to extend one’s existence beyond what we know as “Life.” It is the only way to keep living. To stay in memory so that all may benefit from any singular existence. We have the answer to THE question, “What comes after life?” Nothing without Alter-Life.
A WONDERFUL ‘WHAT IF?’
Suppose you discovered that every time you died, you actually transported into another you in another, albeit somewhat similar, universe? What would that do to you? Would you quit your job if you knew something better was waiting for you? Would you stay single if you knew your marriage would end tragically? Would you want to keep living if you knew you couldn’t die?
That’s basically what’s going on in Alter-Life, an Indie comic that shows how great sci-fi storytelling can be accomplished in comics. It asks a gripping “what if” that has me fascinated!
In the first issue, “our” Jake “killed” the Jakes from other universes when he took their places. He doesn’t seem to realize that yet, but that should have quite the impact on him when he finally has to come to grips with that.
I still wonder how I would react in that situation. Would I be freaked out? Would I be happy? Would I take it all in stride? (That last one, not hardly!)
The first issue gets us familiar with Jake and the people around him. In this second issue, we meet some faceless men in black suits and red ties following Jake. Clearly, they have something to do with what Jake is experiencing, but what?
Jake’s dying continues, but one thing is becoming clearer – When Jake comes back to life, he’s always in his apartment. What’s up with that?
More questions are answered, but new ones are posed as well. Each issue brings us closer to the final fifth issue. I have some possible solutions in mind, but I won’t know for sure until that last book is released. AUGH! I NEED TO KNOW!
THE ART CONTINUES TO GROW ON ME
In the first issue, I found the artwork a little craggy, a little less cohesive than I usually like. However, when reading this second issue, I found it more and more appropriate and fitting the story better. Like the first, the facial expressions are great, so that pulled me right in!
The use of subdued colors such as blues, browns, and purples continue to work very well with the story. Again, there are few truly bright shades. It makes me feel the story’s mood excellently!
BOTTOM LINE: I’m ‘Dying’ to Know More!
I recently interviewed creator Caleb Thusat on my Wayne’s Comics Podcast, which you can find at this link. He’s always a great interview, teasing me with story elements while giving more details about what we can find his comics.
I want to again point out that Mr. Thusat and friends have a Kickstarter project taking place right now in Alter-Life #3, and it will conclude on Friday, July 28, at 1:00 a.m. EDT, so please follow this link to support them now just like I did! You’ll learn more about being a Patron for Caleb there, too! I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of their work so far, so I want to read more of what they’re offering! I hope you do, too!