© Brian Fies.
This is a charming story of a boy and his dad enthralled with the idea of space travel and the utopian dreams of America. It begins in the late 1930s when they visit the 1939 World’s Fair and all its rosy visions of the future, and continues through the space race and to the present times of disillusionment, when so many of those ideal futures have failed to arrive…or have they? Interspersed among that story are inserts in comic book format, extremely realistic ones made to look as much like real comics of the period as possible, with printing flaws, aged newsprint interiors, and drawing styles to match. The comics are selected issues in the imaginary title SPACE AGE ADVENTURES, starring Cap Crater and his sidekick The Cosmic Kid, who of course are the perfect imaginary alter egos of Buddy and his pop. Here’s a sample page:
And here’s a page of the main story:
Brian’s art style is simple but accomplished, and just as charming as his writing. I found the book moving and nostalgic, bringing back many good memories from my own childhood, though mine started considerably later. I grew up with the US space program, though, a major theme here. And as the story enters the present and moves on into the future, Buddy has his own kids to inspire. How will he handle that?
Fies is lucky to have placed this project with Charlie Kochman at Abrams, who clearly went all out to make it work, sparing no expense, overlooking no detail, and producing a book that’s a delight not only to read but to handle and look through. Everything about it is of top quality, and the comics inserts have to be seen to be appreciated fully. Quite a fine achievement, and highly recommended.
Looks like an interesting book.
My only complaint, considering how far they went to make the “vintage” pages look like a comic from way back when… is that the lettering seems to be done with a computer-based font.
It’s TOO perfect.
The font they used for the “present” part of the story looks more hand-lettered than the other.
But, this is a nit-picky thing, and it otherwise looks like something that was made with lots of care and affection for the material.
I’ll have to pick it up.