Lot’s of sci-fi has spaceships but what about a spaceship that is also a museum? Starslip Crisis (formerly just Starslip) by Kris Straub chronicles the adventures of the crew of the IDS Fuseli, a former luxury warship turned into a museum of predominantly 20th and 21st century materials. The strip went for 7 years and what began as a gag-a-day strip developed into quite an amazing story involving time and dimensional travel.
One of the first things you’ll notice about this comic, there are a lot of them. I recently purchased them in book form, the first book alone has over 500 strips. So even though this is over, you can spend a good long time reading through the entire library. Since this is a fun series, having a bunch of them to read is a major plus. Watching the series develop, both in story and art, is incredible. It’s all in black and white and originally reads like a newspaper comics strip but you see the seeds being planted for the world building going on.
The characters and their growth are immense from what we see at the beginning and what we get at the end. What start as easy to laugh at, or with, characters who develop into people you care about and want to see where they end up. You start off with the snob captain Vanderbeam, the ex-pirate Edgewise, and alien assistant Mr. Jinx. The series introduces other characters along the way like Princess Jovia of the Jupiter Colonies, Vore the revived robot rebel, and Lord Katarakis who proves to be quite the antagonist.
The series goes strange and interesting places, as I’ve heard Straub say that he got out many of his sci-fi thoughts out through the series. This was a project to make one person’s entire subset of their imagination, the part he had with science fiction. That is incredible both in desire and volume, not only to attempt it but to accomplish it.
The series keeps its sense of humor through out but also goes on to explore all sorts of ideas about science fiction and life. I’m currently re-reading the whole series in one full go and it’s a lot of fun watching the whole thing come together. This isn’t the only work of Kris Straub’s I follow, currently he does Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow, and the Chainsawsuit Podcast. Chainsawsuit is a comedy strip that is about whatever Straub is thinking of that day, similar to how the podcast is with his co-host Mikey Neuman. Broodhollow is in the same realm of his Ichor Falls horror collection and is shaping up to be one of my favorite series. Check out all of Straub’s works if you like this, or even if you don’t like this maybe you’ll find a fit with some of his other works. I’ve been enjoying his stuff for a long time. Fair warning, Broodhollow gets downright terrifying sometimes, in the best ways.