You may have heard the name The Chronic Argonauts
before, but it’s unlikely. The story was originally written by H.G. Wells
in 1888, some seven years before another time travel inspired story, The Time Machine
. It’s been more than 120 years since this story was crafted and now the people at New Baby Productions
have decided to bring the story up to date for a new audience. I can think of no better way of re imagining this classic than the medium of comics.
The story begins in Wales in 1887. A stranger has arrived in the town of Llyddndd and is acting very strangely and not making any new friends with the locals in the process. The man seems to be pre-occupied with his timepiece as he makes his way through town, counting the seconds all the way and ignoring everyone in his path. Soon after, he purchases a large house on the outskirts of town, one which the locals believe is cursed by the Devil. Wagon after wagon arrive at the new property delivering all manner of unexplained items, which of course raises suspicions even more and the man soon becomes an object of hate, fear and wonder. Things come to a head when some of the locals see a bizarre glow coming from the house and arrange a mob to confront the stranger. The local priest takes it upon himself to intervene and decides to talk to the stranger before things get out of hand. Nobody is home so he lets himself in and discovers the stranger’s secret, that he is, in fact, a time traveller. When the angry mob arrives at the house to dispense their warped sense of justice, the two men are forced to become travel companions and use the time machine to escape. What ensues is a crazy and action packed journey through time that will have you keen to turn the next page to find out what’s coming next.
Although the original story is from H.G. Wells, writer Jason Quinn
has done a wonderful job at updating the story and adapting it for this book. The characters are well written and the dialogue is fluid and believable. There is a fair amount of dialogue in this book but it’s balanced, never dominates the artwork and it’s not a chore to read it. The reader really does feel immersed into this fantastic world and that’s an impressive thing to pull off. The artwork in this book by Russ Leach
is impressive. The action set pieces are all spot on and some of the scenes really pop off the page. The panel angles all work really well and there are a great variety of shots on offer so things are kept interesting. The layout design on the panel art works really well and makes reading things easy and fun. The colors by Tyler Smith
are very nice and work with the content and artwork really well. They are mellow for the most part, with the action and dramatic moments given a much more vibrant touch.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. It’s fairly appropriate for most ages and harks back to some of the cool movies from the 50’s. Fans of classic Sci-Fi would especially get a kick out of this but it could also make a great read for anyone that is in the market for something other than superheroes. For more information and how to order a copy, please visit the New Baby Production’s website here.