Debris, written by Kurtis J. Wiebe with art by Riley Rossmo reaffirms that more recently water-down wonder that science fiction brings to the world. Debris efficiently establishes a world through Wiebe’s writing and Rossmo’s art that, when it is gone, leaves behind a certain amount of sadness and optimism all at once. The world of Debris is not just high concept science fiction flash and imagery, it also a complex set of characters, social problems and adventure. Debris is an imaginative book that takes the reader into the future and away from the planet they know while never leaving planet Earth.
Wiebe paces Debris nicely with gripping action, science fiction wonder and smart characters. The protagonist, Maya, the last Protector of her people often squares off against spirit-embodied mech-monsters that are vicious and well, cool to see in battle. These make for awesome fights where it is the action that Maya takes, not the visualization of her figure that makes her an amazing and desperate defender of her people. Tragedy forces Maya to strike out on her own, to find a water source that will keep her people alive. And on this adventure, the reader through Maya’s eyes, gets to explore even more of this world written by Wiebe and drawn by Rossmo.
Rossmo understands comic book panel and page layout. Most importantly, he understands storytelling, the need to emphasize what is important as a way to drive the story, not to draw every nuance, causing the reader to be overloaded. Rossmo also handles character tension and the stress of combat very nicely. However, it his pages of wonderment that make him a top notch artist. There are several occasions where Rossmo uses a single page to say more than most artists or writers can do in a whole book. These are a healthy mix of either great action, the attack of a mech-beast or just the serenity of a beautiful vista but they are always impactful.
It’s sad but expressive idea that Debris is only a short story, there is only one book. But it is more than worth reading. And it’s great to know that Wiebe and Rossmo have several other titles that they are working on – even more stuff where they work as an incredible team.