Canopus #1 is the latest comics project by writer/artist/musician Dave Chisholm, releasing next week from Scout Comics. Chisholm has created striking, formally inventive comics work for a while now, going back to his jazz/fantasy/horror graphic novel Instrumental and his new work is just as fascinating.
In the opening pages of Canopus, we meet Helen, a lone astronaut in a crashed ship on a distant moon, and Arther, her cute AI assistant. She doesn’t remember how she got here, only that she has to repair the ship and that the fate of humanity is at stake. When Helen and Arther have to go searching for materials they need to make repairs, they stumble into a pit full of discarded toys from Earth, an alien monster, and then things really start to get weird.
Chisholm’s story is personal and internal, exploring Helen’s psyche and emotional state, but it’s expansive sci-fi, as well, involving deep space exploration and human folly at a global scale. The art packs a punch, as Chisholm uses comics panels much like he uses notes in a trumpet performance, dotting the pages with miniature moments to build a story that’s more pointedly emotional than straight-ahead narrative.
Canopus #1 is available in comic book stores and online through ComiXology using our affiliate link on February 19, 2020.