Wasted Space #1
By Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie, Jim Campbell
From Vault Comics, Wasted Space #1 is the new inebriation in space adventure with a religious twist. Moreci’s characters are entertaining to hang around, albeit familiar in a few ways. Readers follow Billy Bane, a washed up prophet interested only in finding his next drink, and his fuq bot friend, Dust. As a first issue, it’s solid. There are lots of interesting holes to fill in when it comes to plot and world-building. There’s fun to be had and questions posed throughout. The best parts, though, are Sherman and Wordie’s artwork.
Together, they have a unique look. It’s sketchy and loose, with lines that tend toward the thicker side. Occasionally, bits of a line will extend past the object. Other times, this might look sloppy, but here, it adds character. There’s a real human element to every shape, and this plays into the rough edges of the comics tone. With that being said, there are moments where this style’s weakness shows. A few panels look flatter than the rest, and it’s these ones that force readers out of the experience of the comic. Happily, Wordie’s colors are typically a remedy to this. Shades of color flow in and out of darkness over Sherman’s loose lines and it creates a really dynamic look throughout. The palette overall has some interesting implications in the last page. Glancing back through and looking at where Wordie uses colors before ties a few narrative string together.
At first glance, Wasted Space #1 seems like an amalgam of several familiar premises, but by the end of the first issue, it looks to throw those expectations aside. Moreci’s ideas are promising enough to draw readers in for more if only to see what themes the book will bring to the table. Following a washed up prophet is, alone, a unique premise. It’s the supporting cast that sometimes feels recycled, though. For example, the concept of Fuq Bot is a good indicator of the type of humor in this comic. Moreci’s jokes fit into that wheelhouse, which is good for those who know what type of comedy they want in a comic. If two buddies drinking their problems away in space sounds good to you, Wasted Space #1 will likely be right up your alley.
There are lots of contrasts going on in and out of this book. Narratively, there are contrasts between raunchy humor and religious themes. In the art, there are sketchy lines butted up against sharp colors. In the characters, there are original ideas marred by old ones. Billy Bane seems to be swimming against the current. An ex-religious-figurehead in a sci-fi world is new, but the way that he deals with his emotions is not. Media is almost overflowing with roguish characters who deal with their past by drinking and smoking it away, and it’s this aspect that drags the story down. He’s just charming enough to hold out hope for some growth. That shouldn’t undercut the work Sherman and Wordie are doing on art, though. Their fast and loose style sets the tone of the book, as well as provides the differentiating factor Wasted Space needs.