Dark Horse Comics is getting into the ’70s space piracy business. Writer Jai Nitz and letterer Crank! are joined by newcomers artist Tom Reilly and colorist Ursula Decay for Astro Hustle, a new four-issue miniseries from the publisher. The series, Nitz says, sprang from his affection for late ’70s/early ’80s sci-fi movies:
“When I was a kid, Star Wars came out and it flipped the entertainment world upside down. Suddenly, every studio and TV network wanted a sci-fi show. The other biggest culture craze on the planet was Disco, so the powers that were put them together and you got this super-strange blend of Disco sci-fi. That morphed into an early-80s leg-warmers-and-headbands sci-fi. I have a great affinity for that time period; a lot of those shows and movies are what shaped my creative mind.”
Astro Hustle tells the story of Chen Andalou, a space pirate who, after awakening from an accidental 60-year cryogenic sleep, discovers that his brother has become president of the galaxy. Hilarity and drama ensue.
The miniseries marks the first professional work for Reilly and Decay, and judging by the promotional images for Astro Hustle it looks like they’re hitting the ground at full speed. Reilly’s work has a look reminiscent of Chris Samnee or Leonardo Romero, and Decay’s coloring looks perfect for the period being evoked by the series.
You can check out those preview images, as well as the full text of the Dark Horse press release for the series, below. Astro Hustle #1 is set for release in early March.
MILWAUKIE, Ore., (December 14, 2018)—Get ready to boogie and hustle as Dark Horse blasts off on a sexy space pirate romp inspired by the sci-fi disco era of the late ‘70s from writer Jai Nitz (Suicide Squad, The Batman Strikes!, Dream Thief)
“When I was a kid, Star Wars came out and it flipped the entertainment world upside down. Suddenly, every studio and TV network wanted a sci-fi show. The other biggest culture craze on the planet was Disco, so the powers that were put them together and you got this super-strange blend of Disco sci-fi. That morphed into an early-80s leg-warmers-and-headbands sci-fi. I have a great affinity for that time period; a lot of those shows and movies are what shaped my creative mind,” says creator Jai Nitz of Astro Hustle which follows Chen Andalou, a cosmic criminal and the black sheep of one of the galaxy’s most prominent families. Chen wakes up sixty years after he was accidentally placed in cryo-stasis to find that his younger brother is now the president of the galaxy. Instead of reforming his dastardly ways, Chen gets back to what he does best: piracy and causing problems!
“Astro Hustle has a giltzy Liberace-big-hair-and-bling sci-fi veneer, but Tom Reilly has taken my idea to the next level. He’s bringing depth, mood, and sophisticated sequential storytelling to something that could’ve been very shallow,” says Nitz. “The themes we are touching on– being a black sheep, politics, legacy, expectations of family– are only possible because of Tom’s amazing line art. All of us, me, Tom, Ursula Decay (colorist), and Crank! (letterer) are owner-operators of this project. We all have a stake in the success or failure of the comic and the property. For Tom and Ursula it’s their first published comic work, so Crank and I are doing our best to put our best professional feet forward and lead by example. It’s made for one of the most satisfying books of my career.”
Astro Hustle #1 (of four) goes on sale March 6, 2019, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.
Praise for Astro Hustle:
“Witty, yet oddly gritty, ASTRO HUSTLE is a classic hard-edged space opera for today.” –Dave Gibbons, co-creator WATCHMEN
“ASTRO HUSTLE masterfully recalls UK comics of yore, boisterous, raucous, sexy and, yes, violent. Lose yourself in the action!” –Nicholas Meyer, writer and director of STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN
“ASTRO HUSTLE is a comic that somehow manages to merge the best of US bravado with the rollicking, anachronistic hodge-podge of humor and thrills I used to love in the British comic compendium 2000AD!” –Duncan Jones, director of MOON, SOURCE CODE, and MUTE.