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'Star Pig: Volume 1’ - Trade Paperback Review

I have always thought that tardigrades would make great sci-fi creatures. They’re the perfect combination of freaky and adorable. If you don’t know what a tardigrade is, they’re microscopic creatures that look a bit like bears, a bit like pigs, but mostly nothing like anything else you’ve seen before. They can survive in virtually any conditions, including the vacuum of space, and are functionally immortal.

Teenager Vess Singh-Rodriguez is excited to be going to Space Camp—which, at her particular point in time, takes place in actual space. Unfortunately, within the first couple of pages, her ship is destroyed, and all of the other passengers perish. The only way Vess is spared the same fate is by being eaten (but not digested) by a life-sized, telepathic tardigrade, whom she names Theo.

Vess and Theo are then kidnapped by a sentient gas cloud named Johnny B. Goode and eventually taken to a space station, where Vess flirts with a cute doctor at an intergalactic hospital. Can Vess ever get home to Earth? Will Theo even find the planet he comes from, much less ever return to it?

Even though Earth has yet to make direct contact, it seems that everyone in the galaxy is obsessed with Earth culture, from clothes to slang to music to TV shows, and anything else you can think of. This allows the story to be filled with all sorts of pop culture references and catchphrases.

Parts of the comic strain credulity at times, but it’s easy to overlook. Some of the most far-fetched bits just add to the fun. In particular, the fact that the songs, movies, and even memes of Earth are so important to the whole rest of the galaxy takes some getting used to; however, when you think about it, maybe it’s not so far-fetched after all. It’s a reminder that our #StoriesMatter—often in ways we don’t even realize.

The writing of this comic is a little silly, but generally fun. The art is gorgeous, depicting a vast and diverse world full of alien species and future technology. If you like wild, colorful, sci-fi shenanigans, a generous sprinkling of pop culture references, and, most importantly, tardigrades, then you’ll want to check out Star Pig.


Creative Team: Delilah S. Dawson (story), Francesco Gaston (art), Sebastian Cheng (colors), Shawn Lee (letters & design), Elizabeth Brei (series assistant editor), Denton J. Tipton (series editor), Justin Eisinger and Alonzo Simon (collection editors)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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