Admirers of Sequential Art, rejoice! There’s a new webcomic called ‘Blue Book’ which –as the name implies– will be devoted to depicting stories from some of the most famous cases in the Golden Age of UFOlogy; the period when the Air Force was running their (in)famous ‘UFO Desk’ in order to reassure the public that the government had everything under control, and that the ‘flying saucer nonsense’ was just the result of overworked imaginations triggered by flocks of seagulls and the planet Venus.
‘Blue Book’ is the resulting collaboration of James Tynion IV (writer), Michael Avon Oeming (artist) and Aditya Bidikar (letterer); they launched the series with what is undoubtedly the first publicly known –and still most famous– case of alleged alien abduction in the whole world: The Betty and Barney Hill story. Chapter 1 is freely available on their website, and the rest will be for paying subscribers only.
As a struggling artist myself, I confess to be absolutely stunned by the gorgeous way in which Oeming portrayed this iconic piece of modern mythology. His potent art style, enhanced by a limited color palette, perfectly manages to capture both the subtle nuances of racial tension experienced by Betty and Barney as an interracial couple living in 1960’s America, as well as the mind-shattering encounter with ‘the Other’ which has filled hundreds if not thousands of pages in UFOlogical and skeptical literature.
I have often commented, both publicly and privately with fellow colleagues, how the UFO phenomenon is so mercurial and confounding in nature it can rarely been properly captured on the silver screen of a movie theater if treated faithfully, instead of distorting the topic into easy-to-digest stereotypes of extraterrestrial visitation. Not so in comic books, which in many regards is much more effective in treating any kind of story, no matter how surreal or confusing the subject. Tynion, Oeaming and Bidikar’s creation is patent proof of this, and I wish them much success with this worthy endeavor.