The Outliers is another in the growing comic book genre of Cryptozoology; Hoax Hunters (Image), Perhapanauts (Image), Footprints (215 ink), and now even the venerable classic The X-Files (IDW) has successfully returned to print with Season 10.
So why read this one? Erik T. Johnson has crafted an intriguing and unique tale, one with a take on crypto-creatures that is at once brand new but feels totally familiar.
From the author:
A mute 11 year old boy’s (Tsu) secret friendship with a woodland giant is revealed. Both in danger, they are forced further down a path of unknown mystery. This is a 32 page, limited edition first issue comic book, offset printed on French Dur-O-Tone Newsprint paper in two colors. Cover letterpress printed with silver ink on Pop-Tone Hot Fudge paper. Dust Jacket printed 4-color on Dur-O-Tone Butcher paper.
All the pretty paper and fancy ink aside, what we have here is a solid book. A story about a boy who needs a friend and the fantastic creature he befriends. I immediately liked Tsu and wanted to know what his deal was, and the reveal of Tsu’s “friend”? It was great!
Unlike most stories of its kind it doesn’t start at the beginning with a lot of back story, no we jump right in when things are getting hairy, which I love.
And as soon as the story heats up we get a taste of who’ll be at our heroes heels. To say his antagonists are strange is putting it mildly. Questions abound but Erik has assured me there will be some answers forthcoming but he definitely wants to sustain a sense of mystery.
As you can see Erik is a talented artist and his illustration background gives a very unique feel to this story. If I have any complaint it would be that the book’s format may make it fairly hard to find in your local comic shop. It’s being distributed by Alternative Comics but it doesn’t as of this article appear on their site. You can order it from The Outliers online store though!
Like all small press and indie books sales will go along way toward whether we see more or Tsu’s story. So go to the webstore and order a copy, tell your friends, tell your local comic shop. Let’s make this book a hit.
If you’re looking for a new, interesting, beautifully printed book. One that feels like a X-Files episode crossed with Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with a touch of Paul Zindel, then this book is for you. A mythological and mysterious 4 out of 5!
If you’re interested in seeing more of what brought The Outliers to print as well as what’s next for it and Erik surf by his site: humongusamongus.tumblr.com