Like Starhammer, Topside is also a story that takes place in space, albeit now with a focus on “fixing your mistakes and the friends you meet along the way,” according to the promotional materials. Topside, which is due out Oct. 1, looks like an epic and fun outer space romp with a diverse set of characters and a feel-good lesson at its core. What else could you want from a YA graphic novel?
Check out The Beat’s exclusive preview after the jump below…
On October 1, 2019, Graphic Universe will publish TOPSIDE, a wild outer-space fantasy graphic novel about fixing your mistakes and the friends you meet along the way, by writer J.N. Monk and artist Harry Bogosian, the creators of the acclaimed web comic StarHammer.
Meet Jo Wilson, repair technician. She’s talented. Headstrong. And… in a lot of trouble. Jo keeps things running inside the Core, an underground society on the verge of collapse. All she asks in return is that people stay out of her way. When a routine assignment goes haywire, Jo has no one but herself to blame. To fix the slipup, she’ll have to head topside, onto her planet’s lawless, unruly surface. Jo’s journey sends her wandering through deserts, riding on the backs of giant beasts and cutting deals with con artists and bounty hunters. And all the while, the agents of the Core are in hot pursuit.
“Jo makes a mistake that damages a vital component to one of her planet’s core systems. Her mistake is just the straw that broke the camel’s back, but she blames herself and makes it her own responsibility to fix it no matter what,” said writer J.N. Monk. “The idea that the responsibility of the world lies with any one person isn’t true; it’ll take all of us to see things through. And that’s something Jo has to discover for herself.”
“I want to be able to create worlds that people find themselves believing in, and wanting to visit,” said artist Harry Bogosian. “Even if the fictional world is a dark place I want it to be one that is so intriguing that the reader feels a compulsion to visit it. The best fictional worlds have always been ones that your mind visits even when you are not currently reading or watching it.”
TOPSIDE’s epic world building and unforgettable and diverse cast of characters has drawn praise from the likes of Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation), Kristen Gudsnuk (Making Friends), Zander Cannon (Kaijumax), Katie Shanahan (Silly Kingdom) and more.
“As quest stories go, the world building in this one is impressive. Both Topside and the Core feel fully realized, with wordless panels full of imaginative creatures, a diverse cast of expressive characters, and strong, evocative colors doing much of the storytelling. A dystopian sf graphic novel perfect for readers new to the genre.”―Booklist
“When a small mistake quickly snowballs, a young girl of color braves the strange surface of her planet to prove she can set things right…. Immersive, mysterious, and just the right amount of trippy.” ―Kirkus Reviews