Written by: Dave Swartz
Art by: Joseph Cooper
Letters by: Wes Locher
If you’re lucky and your LCS has the foresight to order from Alterna, then you might be able to pick up the first issue of Feast or Famine #1, new from Alterna Comics. Written by Dave Swartz and drawn by Joseph Cooper, this is part 1 of a 3 part mini series that is a heady mix of steampunk and sci-fi.
Set in a parallel dimension, inventors Nicholas Teska and Dr Albalien Stein, not spelling mistakes, discover radio signals they believe are emanating from an alien race, and set off to find out where they are coming from. The action jumps around time wise, and we find ourselves in the 1800’s where science and technology are racing ahead. However our hero Tesla, I mean Teska, is a financial prisoner of the man who owns his inventions. Edison Labs is grabbing all the glory for Teska’s work, and it’s a situation he’s not happy with. When Teska decides enough is enough, and a fateful accident intervenes, the tables turn and Teska finds himself with a new backer Anthony Carnagy, who has a vision of the future more in line with Teska.
This is a nice first issue that has an inventive story and feels like something new and different. The art and colours are bold and big, and fans of The Prestige will enjoy seeing this time period explored in a comic book. My only gripe with the product comes in the technical aspects of the publishing. Some pages have numbers, and other don’t. I know that’s nit picking, and some pages can’t show the page number due to the bleed of the page, but I would prefer they either use the numbering or they don’t. Also on page 17 (numbered) I’m sure there’s a spelling mistake in the 4th panel. Now don’t judge me, these are such trivial things, but I only want Alterna to be better and better, and silly mistakes like spelling can take me right out of a story, so get edited whenever possible.
Anyway, forget all that, there’s 32 pages of story and art here for $1.50, an incredible price point, so if you grab an issue and don’t like it, it’s no biggie. Printed on newsprint, these comics feel old school, and the trade dress stands out on the shelves. There may not be 17 variant editions of Alterna comics, but I have noticed many of their titles going to second and third prints, so they must be doing something right.
Stop the press, as I write I find out that earlier Alterna release Trespasser, has been optioned for a movie. The series by Justin Ryan and Kristian Rossi has captured the attention of Wonder Woman co – writer Jason Fuchs, and although it’s early days,Trespasser, that I reviewed earlier this year, might hit the big screen. You can order Trespasser direct from Alterna, and I’m pretty sure it was available as a trade too. Is this the start of a trend for Alterna comics? Perhaps other interested companies may follow this lead and look at other runs from the publisher, and this reviewer is very happy with that news. In the meantime grab Feast Or Famine 1 now!