At a recent convention I happened upon the wonderful and engaging Elaine Lee (actor, playwright, comic book creator) who introduced me to Audiocomics a company that specializes in… you guessed it audio comics! After speaking about the company and some of her other projects (Starstruck anyone?) I noticed that one of the cd’s featured The Perhapanauts! Being a huge fan of the series I was psyched to experience it in a new way. There were issues though, I was never a books-on-tape guy, always preferred to read than listen. Admittedly I also worried that trying to set the scene for a visual medium using spoken word would be, well lacking.
I needn’t have worried. Much like the radio shows of yesteryear this is a fully realized script, adapted by Todd Dezago and Elaine Lee (from the graphic novel series The Perhapanauts by Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau), with solid voice acting and great sound effects and atmosphere.
Did all the characters voices match the ones I have already assigned them in my brain? Well I’ve been reading Perhapanauts comics a long time and that internal character vocal track has undergone many changes over the years so I resigned myself to be open to whomever graced this production. I wasn’t disappointed, though two of the voices seemed a little off to me (maybe a touch tongue in cheek?) the cast and production really came together in an entertaining and enjoyable way. Believe me this wasn’t a bunch of people reading a comic book into a recorder, The Perhapanauts MONSTERS AMONG US! or… Chimaera Wanna Tellya Somethin’ is an award-winning radio play and the cd version I listened to makes it easy to understand why.
Something that struck me after listening was how good a fit audio is for comic books. One of the biggest stumbling blocks we’ve had (now really only limited to production budget) was the ability to bring some comic book characters and locations to life on the screen. Personally up until Iron Man, Cap, and The Avengers I truly felt the only good comic adaptations were animated. But audio removes the need for that visual suspension of disbelief. Just like in that wonderful War of the Worlds broadcast the act of listening allows the mind to paint as real a picture of the events unfolding as the listener desires. And I’ll readily admit that I listened to much of the cd with my head back and my eyes closed picturing every moment.
It really was a fun experience. One I can recommend for fans of The Perhapanauts, fans of comics, and fans of audio plays.
The Perhapanauts MONSTERS AMONG US! or… Chimaera Wanna Tellya Somethin’ gets a 4 out of 5 stars! Excellent story in an exciting not often enough used format!
You can pick up a copy of the cd at The Perhapanauts’ store (cd $5.99 + shipping), iTunes (digital download $1.99), or from amazon.com (digital download $9.95) through our handy-dandy amazon affiliate link!