By Ryan Browne & Jordan Boyd
Kickstarter has become one of the best places for comic creators to gain exposure, fans and of course raise funds for their independent comics. Getting attention for making a great comic isn’t the only qualification to running a successful campaign, you have to also have to be a smart businessperson. Out of all of the Kickstarter projects I have personally backed (and I’ve backed quite a few), God Hates Astronauts has always been one of the best projects I’ve ever had the privilege to help fund.
After the flourishing Kickstarter, Image Comics picked up the first volume of God Hates Astronauts and released it in trade paperback. The first volume of GHA is one of the zaniest series you will find on the shelves these days. When it was announced that Ryan Browne would be continuing GHA as an ongoing title series at Image, I was immediately excited. That first volume of GHA left plenty of room for more story, so it was a no-brainer to make this an ongoing series.
Ryan Browne has been busy at Image Comics lately. Not just with God Hates Astronauts, but also helping fill in issues for The Manhattan Projects and taking over art duties on Bedlam. It was wonderful news that he was finally going back to his creator-owned universe he has built in the pages of God Hates Astronauts. This first issue picks up basically right where volume 1 left off. Now, this isn’t to imply that you need to read volume 1 first before reading this issue. Sure, it helps, but new readers are walked through (and old readers are reminded) a brief summary of the story so far by the 3D Cowboy. The thing new readers need to know about GHA is that continuity isn’t the most important aspect of the storytelling. God Hates Astronauts is supposed to just make you laugh. It is supposed to make you wonder “wtf” while you stare at the pages. Browne writes a comic as a comedy that also happens to parody the comics medium and what we get is a hilariously good read.
Remember how I stated earlier that Browne spent some time doing art for other established series at Image? Well all that work has clearly paid off when you look at this new issue of God Hates Astronauts. The original first volume still looks incredible, but there is an obvious increase in quality. Colorist Jordan Boyd also does incredible work on this book. He is able to keep the bright haphazard look but manages to increase minute details of the GHA universe. The sound effect lettering is another way the add more comedy into the art, which makes GHA just that much more hilarious. It’s just satisfying to have something so comical also look so magnificent.
Glad to have you make God Hates Astronauts! This was a great first issue that brought me right back into Browne’s world. It’s hard to read God Hates Astronauts without even cracking a smile. Smiles are good for you. More comics need to make us smile. Looking forward to reading more GHA, but now I’m going to read volume 1 again while I wait.