Advance Review: ‘The Incal- Dying Star’ Is A Must-Read For Weird Fiction Fans

Welcome to the table,

A slowly mutating cosmic violin-playing half-reptilian space commander leads a group of ghost pirate holograms on a mission of revenge and destruction, as he looks to show stars to a woman who lives far in the future and is starting down a path to certain destruction.

Yeah, that is not an intro. I have no anecdotal story that leads into this unhinged graphic novel from Jodorowsky and Mœbius’s The Incal Universe called Dying Star. What I can tell you is that I love it. I want more of it. I’m going to actively go out of my way to find out everything I can about the strangeness that is the Incal Universe and what other tales of wonder that are out there to enjoy.  For now, though, let us focus on The Incal: Dying Star.

The story centers around Commander Kaimann. The love of his life is dead and his home has been destroyed. His crew are hilarious and loyal but lack any real substance as they are algorithmic generations of ghosts. Actual ghosts in the machine that question if they are unreal or not in very profound but ultimately absurd moments throughout the story.

Kaimann is attempting to commune with a woman who is some-when else than he via a musical instrument known as A Syritonius Mourner. It’s a strange and twisted violin that plays a haunted song that can transcend space and time.

Through some reality-bending space magics and song Aurora from thousands of years in the future when the stars are burning out is drawn back through time to meet Kaimann and the two share conversations before she is returned to her place in the timestream. This chance meeting is what sends Kaimann on an unhinged adventure across worlds.

There are moments he is soaked almost head to toe in blood, covered in strange alien lifeforms, engaged in swordfights with nobles, and clashing with massive space dragons.

Dying Star is a framed story, if the picture was removed from the frame, and sat in another room, and the frame was a living eight-dimensional entity that planted the tree that would one day drop a seed that would in turn grow into a forest that was cut down to make the paper that the picture was made from. All of this is happening, of course, while there are sword fights and spaceships. It’s spellbinding, and I loved every nanosecond of it from start to finish.

While it was daunting to learn that this is but one book in a long line of stories set in the Incal Universe, I feel like this is the perfect jumping-in point for those new to the series. Dan Watters has really been knocking out of the park for me across multiple titles over the last few months and Jon Davis-Hunt absolutely slays with the art in graphic novel from Humanoids.

I would be remiss if I did not call out Troy Peteri‘s work as the letterer on this book as well as his attention to detail and spacing just heighten the page layouts in a way that matters. A good letterer can make or break a book and when someone knows what they are doing it does not go unnoticed.

I can’t recommend this highly enough. If you are a fan of things like The 5th Element, Elric, or The Invisibles, The Incal: Dying Star is going to be exactly the kind of thing you will enjoy.

Until next time, alligator spaceman is so freaking cool.


Welcome to the table, A slowly mutating cosmic violin-playing half-reptilian space commander leads a group of ghost pirate holograms onCOMICONRead More

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