Man From Space has one of the most wonderfully simple set ups you’ll read. There’s a man, with a beard, and a best friend. His best friend is called Michael. Michael is a goldfish. Michael is also a genius and possibly a bit evil. Then there’s Doctor Brain who may also be evil, but also may just like seeing our hero in shorts.
The thing is though, this is deceptively simple stuff with a lot of really smart, clever, complex things under the hood.
Writer and artist Marc Jackson has remarkable comic timing and there are a couple of strips in here that play off that gloriously. The best ones are the four panel funnies, especially Michael’s standup debut ‘It’s The Way He Tells ‘Em!’. It’s all smart, eccentric stuff but there’s an awareness of the humour in that one that works especially well.
Elsewhere you get some nice, gentle parodying of bro culture, with Man hanging out with the Head of the Desert, or, Dessert as he keeps mistaking him for. You see there’s a problem with the teleporting robot Michael built, and they owe some money to some guys because Michael screwed up again and…
Like I say, it’s an odd comic but a really sweet, often very funny one.
Jackson has an excellent handle on the sort of mildly destructive, fractious friendship a lot of guys share and there’s some very affectionate mocking of it here. The Head of the Desert is an amiable bro type whilst Man himself is a little highly strung and Michael…Michael is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, carried in a fishbowl.
Jackson’s art is as gentle and unforced as his comedy. The style is loose, amiable and expressive and it fits the stories, and jokes, perfectly. Again it looks simple but, again, there’s careful design in everything you see here as well as what you read.
The end result is a book that’s quirky, charming and often very funny. Plus, any comic that features a character called Doctor Brain is automatically getting pretty much everything right.
Man From Space issues 1 and 2 are available now on ManFromSpace.co.uk