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‘Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy Volume 1:’ Trade Paperback Review

This simple, rather unassuming comic explores a lot of fascinating sci-fi concepts that tend not to get a lot of attention in mainstream pop culture. On the surface, it’s about space travel and (in a manner of speaking) time travel, but when you actually read the comic, it’s about so much more than that.

Amy is a high school sophomore whose mild synesthesia allows her to experience people’s personalities as flavors. She’s lived her entire life on a mining colony in deep space and has a whole life there: friends, school, family, etc. But when her father loses his job, Amy and her parents have to leave the colony and return to Earth—a place she’s only seen in movies.

Not only that, the trip back takes 30 years, during which time they’re cryogenically frozen. When she awakes, Amy has missed out on 30 years of technology, 30 years of history, and 30 years of memories. Her best friend Jemmah, back on the mining colony, is now in her 40s, while Amy hasn’t aged a day.

In addition to adjusting to a new world and a new time, Amy also has to adjust to a new school—one where both academics and social life are completely governed by new augmented reality glasses. How can she connect with people who are literally seeing a different world than she is? And who is this boy she keeps coming across, who seems to have no flavor at all?

The technology is secondary, though. At its core, this comic is about the characters. While the world Amy lives in may be hundreds of years in advance of ours, the issues she deals with are universal: loneliness, isolation, trying to fit in…

I really liked this comic. Stephen McCranie has created a strange, rather quiet story that had me hooked from the very beginning. With every page, I found myself more invested in these characters and wanting to know more about what happens to them. If you’re into unique and unusual sci-fi stories that are character-driven, rather than about action and adventure, then I highly recommend you check out Space Boy.

Creative Team: Stephen McCranie (Writer and Illustrator)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Click here to purchase.


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