And Then I Read: ASTRA 1

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Images © Juke Box Productions.

Before I even get to the content of this issue, can we all give it up for cover designer (and letterer) John “JG” Roshell? What a great job he did on this cover, following writer Kurt Busiek’s instructions to make it “…look like a peppy, gossipy, trashy celebrity gossip magazine, somewhere between Tiger Beat, Us Weekly and the National Enquirer.” There’s a step-by-step on the Comicraft website HERE, though  I have to say it’s the kind of step by step I’ve seen in some how-to-draw books where you only get to the last step if you’ve had about 10 years of training and experience. And even with all that crowded type on it, Alex Ross’s cover art still shines. Great team, great cover.

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Inside, no surprise, is more great work from Busiek and artist Brent Anderson. Astra is one of the Astro City super group known as the First Family, sort of like the Fantastic Four, but differently twisted, as with all the AC heroes. She’s graduating from college, and bringing her regular guy boyfriend home to meet the family, while running into lots of old friends among the super crowd along the way. After the heavy storylines in the Dark Ages saga, this is a fun, flighty breath of fresh air, and it brings back some of the wow factor that Astro City and all good comics need now and then. Highly recommended, looking forward to the second half of this story next issue.

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