Review - Curiosities From Another World (@CuriousPComics)

"Step right up everyone! Be amazed by real life magic!"

The future is always one step away and usually it's pretty predictable when it's that close. When it's a bit farther off and another world entirely, well, things are a little more difficult to predict. In Curiosities From Another World from Curious Press Comics, a strange world is explored through the eyes of various inhabitants of it. "Escapism" is written by Ryan Bis, illustrated by Crizam, colored by Kat Brown and lettered by Matías Zanetti. "Optimal" is written by Bis, illustrated by Nathan Olson and lettered by Zanetti. "Paralysis" is written by Bis, illustrated by Cristian Sauret, colored by Iwan Yoko Triyono and lettered by Mauro antella. "Heroes" is written by Bis, illustrated by Sauret and Nazareno Acuña, colored by Triyono and lettered by Mantella. "Endure" is written by Bis, illustrated by Sabrina Deigert and lettered by Zanetti. "Ascension" is written by Bis and illustrated by Renan Balmonte. "Epilogue" is written by Bis, illustrated by Elijah Isaiah Johnson and lettered by Zanetti.

Android body snatchers. Government oppression. Fatal disease. Six individuals take control of their lives and defy the odds before their city descends into chaos.

Bis is the writer for all of the stories in the anthology and it helps to give The Hive a sense of uniformity throughout. Each of the stories offers a different take on the same dystopian future where the government is in charge and individuals are fighting all manner of oppression. Bis imbues each character with a strong sense of agency where each of them are motivated by different things to seek out their true desires. For example, in "Optimal" Bis writes about a character seeking to escape her reality and the cost that comes with replacing reality with fantasy. Each of the stories are somewhat philosophical in that regard leaning on the notion that humans crave routine, yet are usually looking for ways to break free from it at times.

The artwork throughout the issue varied and helps define each story as it's own portion of The Hive. Crizam ("Escapism"), Olson ("Optimal") and Balmonte ("Ascension") all offer art styles that feel the most like a traditional comic book, using strong linework to define the characters and their worlds. Suaret ("Paralysis") and Acuña ("Heroes") use a style that feels a bit more CGI, providing a sense of futurism in their tales. Deigert ("Endure") blends the traditional and CGI styles together that's effective when it comes to the various lighting throughout the city. The colors throughout the book are varied yet strong, providing a good glimpse at how different parts of the city look to different characters.

Curiosities From Another World is a very ambitious anthology that ties things together by a shared world as opposed to just a shared theme. There's definitely a lot of overlap across the stories in terms of what they're setting out to accomplish. The scripts by Bis are solid and straightforward, weaving together players in a world that can feel disparate at times because of its size. The artwork covers a variety of styles and provides a good visual break as the anthology unfolds. Curiosities From Another World leans heavily into a future where characters are confronted by the grim realities of a world beyond their control, yet they still manage to find ways to break out of the monotony.

Curiosities From Another World is available now.