Back In The Game
Published by Futurequake Press
Writer: Daniel Whiston
Artists: Johnny McMonagle, James KirCough, Dave Thomson
Editors: Dave Evans & Richmond Clements
Genre – Sci-Fi
Available from the FQP Webshop £5.00
Neroy Sphinx, Conman, Thief, Industrialist and Politician. His memory has been stolen and he nees it back so he can get Back In The Game.
This is a creator owned project from Daniel Whiston under the guidance of Futurequake Press. Chapters 2 to 11 have previously been published in FutureQuake, a periodical Anthology from the publishers of the 2000AD fanzines Zarjaz and Dogbreath.
There are quotes on the back cover from John Wagner, creator of Judge Dredd, and Michael Carroll, author of the Quantum Prophecy/New Heroes series of novels. To have such good quotes from the British Comic great John Wagner is quite something. John encourages newcomers and has recruited from Futurequake. Similarly Michael Carroll is a force to reckon with. He is one of the current stable of Judge Dredd writers for 2000AD as well as writing over a dozen novels. There is an introduction by James Lovegrove, New York Times Bestseller.
This is the first work I have reviewed by Daniel Whiston.
Contents (with artists)
Blast From The Past: Prologue – Dave Thomson
One Last Job – Johnny McMonagle & Dave Thomson
The Job From Hell – James Kircough & Dave Thomson
The De’Spurge Job – Johnny McMonagle & Dave Thomson
Fall to Rise – James Kircough & Dave Thomson
What You See Ain’t What You Get – Johnny McMonagle & Dave Thomson
Ice Woman – James Kircough & Dave Thomson
Cassiopian Queen – James Kircough & Dave Thomson
Enter The Griffin – James Kircough & Dave Thomson
Breakin Out of the Bughouse – Dave Thomson
Old Familiar Places – Dave Thomson
Blast From The Past: Epilogue – Dave Thomson
Princess Aloria by Johnny McMonagle
Timeline of the EarthFed Universe
Script notes and sketches by Daniel Whiston and Johnny McMonagle
FutureQuake Press 20 cover by Dave Thomson
There is a short text intro to each chapter from an in world biography of the title character. Neroy Sphinx isn’t a particularly nice fellow, I did say he was a Politician didn’t I. With or without his full memory this man will cheat and lie for financial gain or to protect his life. He’ll turn on friends and colleagues yet he’ll throw a stranger some good fortune with casual ease. You may find your self rooting for him, I found myself pleased to see him come through mostly unscathed.
Each story is free standing which obviously suits appearing in FutureQuake as readers might not pick up each issue as it comes. In a collection however despite this obviously making the whole thing episodic the over arching feel is consistent. Whether this was by design throughout the periodical publication of the story or put in place for this collection by book-ending the previously published stories with original material I can’t be certain.
A consistent setting and consistent characterisation is often taken for granted. It shouldn’t be, it is easy for something to slip, nothing here does. The stories are well crafted with an intelligent use of dialogue and deft handed twists to the plot.
With the tones being set by the same artist throughout this book has a lovely look. The characters have a clear design to them that makes them instantly identifiable when drawn by any of the three artists involved. All three artists gave good service to the strips and again this gives the whole book a pleasing look.
This is billed as Book One at the end of the last chapter. So I look forward to seeing where Danial Whiston takes Neroy Sphinx next.