Michael Pusateri recommended the comic book Resident Alien on an episode of Gweek last year. A few days ago I received a review copy of the paperback anthology that collects the first four issues and loved it.
Resident Alien Volume 1: Welcome to Earth! is about an alien who crash lands his spacecraft on Earth and must interact with human beings in a small mountain town. The alien can uses his formidable mental powers to block his appearance so that the townsfolk see him as a human (with one interesting exception). But as readers, we see him as a purple skinned, bug-eyed, pointy-eared spaceman.
In the afterword to the anthology, writer Peter Hogan explains how he came up with the idea for the series:
I blame Elvis Presley. Many years ago, I edited a book about the man, and got fascinated by Alfred Wertheimer's photos from the early days of his career. He showed Presley in everyday settings like diners and hotels, traveling on trains and hanging around in stations –- and the truly remarkable thing about them was the fact that all the other people in those photographs were completely ignoring Elvis, despite the fact that he looked nothing like anyone else in the room (or on the planet, for that matter). It was like there was a Martian in town, and they just couldn't see him.
The alien is friendly. He is fascinated by human behavior, and when the town doctor is murdered, the mayor asks him to step in as a temporary replacement until they can find a permanent doctor. He agrees, somewhat reluctantly, because he is still unaccustomed to the ways of humans, but his curiosity wins out. The story develops into a good old fashioned murder mystery, with the twist that an alien disguised as a doctor is involved. Steve Parkhouse's art is excellent, and I'm looking forward to the next volume, which will be called "The Suicide Blonde."
Resident Alien Volume 1: Welcome to Earth!
In The Oversight, Charlie Fletcher introduced us to a secret history of London and the ancient order that defended it from the creatures of the dark. Now, with The Paradox, a sequel, Fletcher plunges the bedraggled heroes of the Oversight into danger that they may not be able to best.
Randall “XKCD” Munroe’s Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.
Craig Thompson’s second graphic novel, the 582-page mammoth Blankets, swept the field’s awards, taking three Harveys, two Eisners, and two Ignatzes. More than a decade later, and buoyed by his later successes (such as 2011’s seminal Habibi), Drawn and Quarterly has produced a beautiful new edition.
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