Future is a graphic novel from a new publisher, Cast Iron Books, collecting in a Kickstarter ending on Halloween. This graphic novel serves as the first of comedian Tom Woodman acts as writer with Rupert Smisson as artist, with veteran letterer Aditya Bidikar.
Future is the first project of Cast Iron Books, a new publisher dedicated to empowering writers and artists through storytelling. With a hook like that, a first impression is everything. So what better way to show a way to empowering people than a story fighting back against fatalistic realities?
Writing For Future
Despite Woodman’s comedic background, this doesn’t push him away from a rather serious topic about taking risks. Future revolves around Murray Rui Mielniczuk, the last astronaut of Earth, as it faces numerous crises. With all of this, including a terminal illness Murray faced since childhood, the only sensible thing is to wait for the end. Murray’s wife, Kay Mielniczuk, gets them an opportunity to change everything. While not everyone can time travel, the desire to take a chance with a loved one is a universal feeling. Because who at the time feels satisfied with the hopelessness of 2020?
Throughout Future the reader sees a world in ruin that serves as a bleak forewarning to everyone. For the Mielniczuks, it’s how after centuries of progress, it’s the feeling that all of their efforts are in vain. There’s no cure for Murray’s illness, and there doesn’t seem to be a way back. As the only humans left, the world is practically telling the Mielniczuks that their fates are inevitable. Murray seems content, but Kay won’t stand for it. It’s for that very reason that Murray experiences some of the more heart-warming sequences in the art.
The Art Of Splinters
Smissen instills Future with some impressive visuals that provide background elements. Throughout the story, Murray has some episodes where she glimpses into her past. Sometimes they splinter like glass shards from a cracked helmet. This serves as a good metaphorical look into the world and how messed up it has become. The purple coloring of this episode is practically a warning sign of a hopeless situation that comes with some comfort. At least the views of her marriage to Kay suggest that latter part.
At first glance, this is a hallucination from Murray’s illness, but that might not be the case. Considering the nature of the photonic time travel and why the Mielniczuks backers wanted Murray despite her condition, making her less than ideal for space travel, this might explain her place in the grand scheme of things. Especially during an episode where Murray seems to be experiencing walking through where the ocean used to be. But more importantly, the bright flashes of memory contrast with the dark abyss-like background Murray is walking in. That’s even despite the memory of her mother telling her not to waste effort on hopeless causes because even a bad memory connects to a brighter one where Murray recalls how she met Kay.
As the most experienced of the creatives in Future, Aditya Bidikar displays his award-winning lettering. Bidikar’s letter work provides Smissen’s art with good company. Pages that practically have no backgrounds or panels rely on the word balloons to guide them. In context, it also lets people see Murray’s condition worsening and how its Kay’s words that she listens to with strong intent. Because again, Kay is what keeps Murray going despite all of the bleakness. This style of lettering is just Bidikar’s way of showing the reader how.
Plan For Your Future
Future is without a doubt a decent way of displaying how a person’s love for something or someone can provide hope. In the tough times of 2020, where things keep getting bleak, it’s important to try and make something good out of it. A startup company like Cast Iron Books is certainly trying their hardest. But if you want something more solid than a review, check out the first chapter: https://tinyurl.com/FutureCh1