Advance Review – Away

Jon Laight’s latest book, Away, is being released through Markosia in a couple of months time but the promise of a sci-fi epic covering adventures across space & time had me more than a little intrigued.

While Jon has already impressed with the likes of Brethern Born & Late Knights, the fact that this new venture has been in development for a couple of years meant that it felt like a much bigger story to tackle and with Time & Space mentioned it had the potential to be epic.  It follows ordinary guy Jason West whose life as a family man & firefighter are rocked by an other-worldly experience while fighting a fire on his day job.

It’s brushed off as stress and a reaction to the conditions while fighting fires but something doesn’t quite ring true and he’s proved right when his subconscious life becomes far more active than he could ever have imagined.  He’s now juggling the normalcy of a father, husband and fireman with the vast unknown of time & space that opens up a whole new set of possibilities for his existence.

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The story from Jon feels like it’s the epic that was hinted at, with a great balance on the focus shifting from the protagonists “normal” life and the adventures he finds himself embroiled in.  These adventures take place at a steady pace and it feels like you’re binge watching Quantum Leap as the story progresses but as it’s a page-turning event it’s so it’s easy to just go with the flow.

Teaming up with Grant Richards on art & Darren Stephens on colours they manage to inject a unique look and feel to each of the adventures that plays out while keeping his daily life consistent and almost mundane in comparison but there’s a strong heart to the main character that really comes through.  The scale is there for all to see as you work through this 84-page extravaganza and it does feel like the visuals have captured that epic feel to the book as well…..making it an even bigger surprise that this is Grant’s first Graphic Novel work.  Rob Jones on lettering does a great job of keeping the narrative & dialogue ticking along and he has his fair share to tackle in this one.

This all ends up feeling like Jon’s best work to date and the creative team he has alongside him help the world grow & shine across the multi-panelled pages.  As it’s the first part of a new story I found myself disappointed that it had to end but happy in the knowledge that I can look forward to the next part further down the line.  Great to see Jon and the team have the backing of the likes of Markosia too as it does look and feel like the type of story we’ve come to expect from them.

You can (and MUST) get hold of a copy over on the new campaign on the link below where he’s smashing through targets already:

Away Kickstarter

Keep an eye on the Level 8 Comics websiteFacebook Twitter pages for more info on this and the other projects from Jon and keep tabs on the Markosia’s website, Facebook & Twitter pages for more news on Away.

10/10

G-Man

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