Sci-fi is a tough genre to properly launch into; there is a lot of historical success, classics that have forged amazing and intense expectations: 2001, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Firefly and I could of course go on for as long as space continues. Science fiction as a genre can easily fall dependent to high concepts, special effects and the lack of reality sometimes created by bad writing but more recently caused by green-screen-overuse and computer generated unrealities. The Adventures of Alibi Jones, an anthology of short, loosely connected comic book stories makes a valiant effort to live up to the legacy of its progenitors by starting with story and character, then developing an interesting, highly-imagined world.
Adding to competent story-choice, The Adventures of Alibi Jones has apt writing and dialogue from Mike Luoma as well as highly skilled art and visual storytelling from a couple of different artists including Meisha, Federico Guillen, and Rhys Ap Gwyn. Now, as a publisher of black and white books myself, I generally love when creators choose to live within that reality of high contrast potential. However, I prefer to see color in science fiction, it makes the reality of the stories come alive in an appropriate way and I think that Alibi Jones would have benefited from some color. As an example, the cover of The Adventures of Alibi Jones, with some simple color seen at the beginning of this post, “pops” nicely whereas the image seen below feels unfinished and maybe a little flat for a story with so much otherworldly potential.
As I said above, Science Fiction can easily get lost in big ideas and bad execution. But at the same time, many of us come to sci-fi for a greater escape from reality than we might find in other genres or a story that surpasses reality because of some ingenious, imaginative twist to the world we know. Genres, specifically science fiction should be chosen for stories because they could not be told better in any other way. That’s a problem with The Adventures of Alibi Jones, although it’s smart and well-done, it could have been a drama and been just as good. I wanted some more science fiction in this anthology.