What Did I Learn?
Galaxion by Tara Tallan is probably the longest running online comic that I’ve reviewed. It begins back somewhere around 1993 when it was self published. There is a FAQ, a new readers page with a wall of text and a back door comic version that explains the history so far. There are other short stories which add to the comic’s experience, as well.
It boils down into the decent elevator pitch, though. Basically, Fusella serves as Captain of the scientific survey ship Galaxion which has become a test bed for an experimental drive that has destroyed two other ships. Meanwhile, General Scavina Nelson from a rival space organization is in charge for the duration of the test and has brought her own crew on board with her, some of which are old friends and foes. The tagline reads “Life. Love. Hyperspace.”
Life isn’t all action but there is lots of talking in Galaxion. There are inter-organiational politics, bureaucratic inefficiencies, headstrong people and faulty technology. Galaxion is good science fiction and is not at all science fantasy. It’s about people. Theoretically, you could swap out the hyperspace technobabble (which is mercifully understated in ways that actual professionals might use) for railroad steam engine jargon or even wooden sailing ships engineering. Galaxion 1602 might not be as interesting, however. Little touches like this (read the blog part) help make the setting a little more exotic and standardize it at the same time.
I enjoyed the variety of panel shots and angles of view. Few of them are straight on shots and many you don’t see very often such as character side glances. Characters, despite doing a lot of talking, are always in motion – even those in the background. Another nice thing was what you can see in the sample image with the corrupted communication word balloons – you can hear the words being cut off and maybe even some static crackle, can’t you? Chapter four adds grey tones to represent the characters being in the dark and I think the extra contrast helps the eye find the focal points easier.
What Did I Learn?
Galaxion has years of refinement under its belt. Little things that we might struggle to learn how to do are probably habit for Tara by now. Perhaps that is something that we can aspire to – to have the perseverance to continue and doggedly insist on improving our work. Is it unthinkable to have a twenty year plan? Galaxion continues on and we can follow along too.