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N-Jin #0

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2003
By: Craig Lemon



Writer: Guy Haley
Artist: Daniel Boultwood

Publisher: Com.X

So this is where they have been hiding these last few months, putting together this preview issue of the six-issue mini-series...and it's a damned fine book too.

The big disadvantage, and one you'll be shouting right now, is "where is the sodding series then?" - this can only be answered from the boys themselves, although I wouldn't be surprised to see it surface late in 2003, early in 2004 (and I'm told it will be on a monthly or bi-monthly schedule for ALL SIX ISSUES).

The big advantage is the two tales in this book are entirely standalone - all introductory knowledge you need is provided in the opening mini-essay and story intros by Haley, or within the stories themselves. These owe a huge debt to The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and Red Dwarf (unsurprising given that Haley is a massive SF TV fan (witness his work for SFX Magazine)), fans of both will pick out sly references and subtly-disguised homages with ease, but fortunately none of this is obtrusive - if you have no idea about either works it won't affect your enjoyment in the slightest.

N-jin is about nano-tech enhanced humans - or, at least, one in particular. A Yorkshireman, named Rick Baldwin, travelling through space, accompanied by a suitably wacky set of ship-mates, has a...unique...perspective on life. The first story essentially deals with Rick attempting to persuade his ship to allow him to convert its infinite improbability...er...quantum drive to create five million pints of bitter. The second returns Rick to a planet he's visited previously, the local inhabitants of which were more affected by his earlier visit than he expected...

Boultwood is a real find for Com.X, he has an attractive cartooning style, reminiscent of Monster Club and Out There - very Ramos in execution, and it does sit slightly uneasily with the decidedly adult language and themes of the stories - this is my biggest concern, really - the covers and the art makes this look like a comic for kids...but it ain't.

Still, it's a cool little book, available for orders from your local shop or direct from their website www.comxcomics.com - check it out.



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