Space Circus Screenplay by Richard Rothstein
Story by Richard Rothstein & Stanley Resnicoff
Written by Eric Hutchins & Matt Anderson
Illustrated by Ivan Escalante
Colors by Zac Atkinson
Letters by Tony Garza
Cover by Ivan Escalante Viper Comics
Release Date: June 25, 2014
Cover Price: $7.95
Sometimes you get the opportunity to review something amazingly fantastic and sometimes you get to review something that’s complete dog shit. Then there is the rare chance to review something that makes you reread the comic four or five times in various states of inebriation and you still don’t understand what it is you read… but you don’t hate it.
Space Circus is a prime example of the last option. I’ve reread this thing a few times now and I still don’t quite know how to qualify it in a category of either “HOLY SHIT BALLS! THIS IS AMAZING!!” or “Well… that’s 45 minutes I could have spent in chemotherapy.” This book is literally the Nicolas Cage of indie comics.
Space Circus follows the life of Cosmo, a three-armed alien whose father wants him to join the military but has his own dreams of being a clown in a traveling space circus. What looks like it could easily be a throwaway kids’ comic actually has some interesting highlights that, to me, make up a pretty deep story at times even if it is coated in a candy shell that often teeters on a Wilford Brimley “diabeetus” attack. Is it trite and contrived at times? Sure, but in a way where you don’t get the complete heavy-handed morality that you’d expect in a young reader book. And hell man, the whole thing takes a left turn when Area 51 gets thrown into the mix.
The story is passable but for me, but the real treat in the book was the art. While maintaining a very vibrant palette, Ivan Escalante and Zac Atkinson manage to add depth and real life to the panels with some fantastic angles, shadows, and alien characters that add much more to the book’s overall feel.
Space Circus is pretty good, and if you have a younger reader you’d like to get interested without invoking the Teen Titans or Power Pack, then I’d recommend this.