Cleopatra in Space: Volume One, Target Practice

Monday, May 12, 2014

One of several Mike Maihack prints on my wall!

Cleopatra in Space: Volume One, Target Practice
Mike Maihack, 2014

Premise: On her fifteenth birthday, Cleopatra skips out on her lessons to explore the city with a friend. She ends up finding more than she bargained for. In the far future, her appearance is prophesied, although no one will tell her what her role in the intergalactic war is supposed to be, and in the meantime, she still has to go to class.

I’ve loved Mike Maihack’s art for some time now, and I enjoyed the early webcomic version of Cleopatra in Space, so I picked this up as soon as it hit store shelves.

This is a charming volume. Cleo is fun, funny and sharp, there’s enough intriguing backstory to flesh out the concept but not so much to weigh down the story. The pace flies; I finished this book extremely quickly and then had to flip back through more slowly to enjoy the art. The art style is so effortless and stylized that it’s easy to miss all the little details and subtle things like color choice and line weight that give a strong tone to each character and scene.

Also, I enjoyed the setting! A future obviously highly influenced by Ancient Egypt, containing multiple races working together, including intelligent talking cats, of course! Khensu is a great character, and all the other cats are pretty fun.

This is an all-ages book that skews slightly young: I enjoyed it, but I think kids would really love it. The only downside is that this volume is rather light on plot, and there won’t be more for SO LONG. However, I think about the fact that I read Bone all at once, so I didn’t have time to be annoyed at how little happens in the first volume. I think that Cleopatra in Space, if allowed to play out to it’s multi-volume potential, could grow into a similar classic.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

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