Review - Star Pig #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"Nerd bird! Your harness! You forgot you--"

There's an abundance of strange creatures in space and--chances are--we have no idea they even exist. So what happens when a character comes face to face with one such strange creature in Star Pig #1 from IDW Publishing? Hijinx. The issue is written by Delilah S. Dawson, illustrated by Francesco Gaston, colored by Sebastian Cheng and lettered by Shawn Lee.

Like many late-21st-century teens, geeky 16-year-old Vess gets packed off to spend her summer at Space Camp-which is literally in space. Tragically, a shuttle accident sends her and the rest of the passengers careening toward a cold, frosty death among the stars. But when a gigantic, space-faring water bear miraculously rescues Vess and her beloved retro Discman, it's the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and an incredible journey home, all set to the nostalgic tunes of Vess's 1990s-heavy playlist.

Dawson spends most of the issue focused on Vesa and her new traveling companion as a means of demonstrating some of the vastness of space. That focus is an excellent way for Dawson to give the issue a nostalgic tinge that really helps set the tone and offer some levity to an otherwise terrible situation. Dawson clearly wants the book to feel playful and silly, although there are moments where the situation might seemingly call for a bit more seriousness considering the fact that most (if not all) of Vess' friends were horribly killed. There's a suitably bizarre tone set by Dawson that's further bolstered by the dialogue attempting to be hip for the sake of being painful. Generally speaking though, Dawson's dialogue is thoroughly enjoyable where general silliness abounds.

Gaston's pencils feel very polished in their contemporary approach. In fact, there's very much a Saturday morning cartoon vibe to the approach that's reflected by the natural linework that feels very curvilinear. Gaston does an excellent job of contrasting the industrial feel of the spaceship with the more organic nature of the Space Pig and Johnny B. Goode (another naturally-occurring space creature). Gaston's panel layouts feel a little more frenetic than you'd expect, but the abundance of overlays captures the zaniness well. Cheng's colors are vivid and bright in providing a glimpse at deep space.

Star Pig #1 is a book that embraces its title and doesn't shy away from the inherent strangeness found within it. Vess finds herself in situations that seem even stranger than the one before and requiring her to constantly adapt. Dawson's script is very amusing and thoroughly enjoyable. Gaston's illustrations are a great fit for the book in their all-ages approach. Star Pig #1 is a pretty light and airy comic so far that doesn't show signs of getting too much more intense any time soon.

Star Pig #1 is available now.