Yesterday I wrote a quick, little post on how I thought Orphan Black was an outstanding show that my wife and I were still fairly new to. Today I will talk about another story, in another medium, that I personally believe is one of the best science fiction stories out there right now.
I am talking about Alice Grove.
Don’t know about Alice Grove?
Alice Grove is the brainchild of cartoonist Jeph Jacques who is possibly better known for his other comic, Questionable Content. Alice is a sometimes twice-a-week, sometimes whenever-he-can-get-to-it release that is featured through the blogging site Tumblr. Yes, it is only a side-project as Jeph also keeps QC in the Monday through Friday release pattern and has a few other creative endeavors to tend to.
Both comics are amazing, and easily rank up there as my favorites among the many, many webcomics that have been coming out over the years. It is also part of the inspiration to my own eventual foray into that realm, but I digress.
Where both comics touch on science fiction elements, (QC has AI life, anthroPCs, and cybernetic enhancements), Alice Grove takes a particularly deeper dive into the story telling of science fiction. And it is great.
The comic starts off with a young man running frantically. No dialogue. Nothing else other than the title.
#2: the man comes to a screeching halt in front of a giant wind turbine. Like the first, there is no dialogue.
The next comic: you meat Alice. A young (looking) girl working on the top of a wind turbine. Again, you see no dialogue. The man is yelling or signaling something to her.
In #4, Alice begins to repel down the turbine… until her line breaks, the panic shown on the faces of both characters.
#5 shows the first lines of dialogue as Alice careens towards the ground, the man looks away wincing, only that once he hears the “whud,” he turns to see Alice perfectly fine, having performed… well as Deadpool would call it: “She’s gonna do a superhero landing!”
Man: You flew!
Alice: I fell.
At this point you realize that Alice is not going to be a normal story. There is something special about Alice. Is she a superhero? What is she? How did she just survive a fall from so high?
Another comic later and you find out what all of the fuss was about to begin with: Ardent, a little blue dude with a tail.
Over the course of the next 2 years of comics (he started Alice in September of 2014), you learn that there is A LOT more going on. This isn’t just a post-apocalyptic tale; this is one that takes place thousands of years after… an event mentioned to by the characters as the Brink. And Alice was there, making her at least a few thousand years old.
The comic is a great mix of humor and intrigue. From Ardent’s overzealous horniness, wanting to have sex with nearly every willing female around, to the relentless seriousness of Alice… why won’t she loosen up? What happened to her that made her what she is?
I don’t want to speak too much on what is going on as it may or may not spoil other elements in the comic, but suffice to say, I fervently argue that this is one of the best sci-fi stories I have seen in a long time. And thankfully it shows no signs of being over any time soon.