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Review: Josie and the Pussycats in Space

Josie and the Pussycats in Space

In the digital comic series Josie and the Pussycats in Space, Alex de Campi, Devaki Neogi, and Lee Loughridge riff on the 1972 animated series Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. However, with the exception of the first issue, there isn’t a lot of pop music being played in space. Instead, there’s lots of cosmic body horror and applications of Murphy’s Law as the Pussycats go from their next tour stop to eluding a gooey alien parasite. As the five issue miniseries progresses, the setting shifts from United States Space Force ship to rescue pods and finally the vacuum of space.

Although there are definite elements of space horror films like Alien in Josie in Space, de Campi and Neogi do a fantastic job putting their own spin on the genre through suspenseful storytelling and the out-sized personalities of the Pussycats and their supporting cast members Alan M (Who is now a hunky starship captain), Socks, and of course, the Cabot siblings. They use most of the comic’s first issue to establish the friendships and also tension between the band as they’re tired of touring non-stop and living in such close quarters and want to hang out with other people and try other musical endeavors. As well as creating chemistry between the band, it also allows for a classic, slow burn horror setup that succeeds thanks to de Campi’s tight plotting and Neogi’s clear storytelling.

Speaking of Devaki Neogi’s storytelling, she and colorist extraordinaire Lee Loughridge create tension and generally keep things interesting in Josie in Space thanks to varied layouts and color palettes. The comic starts out with a lot of nine panel grids as it seems like it’s just another week in the life of spaceship-setting pop stars. However, then, Neogi uses Dutch angle panels to create a feeling of unease as the ship loses power, time is a little wonky, and the alien parasite starts to pick off the redshirts. Loughridge matches this energy with color palette using flat reds like alarms blaring. I love how depicts the parasite as an all-consuming blackness that matches the tone he uses for some of the space sequences.

Even though this is a series featuring heightened characters in a (sometimes literally) bone-chilling genre, Alex de Campi peppers her script with human moments. For example, Valerie practices grounding exercises with Melody when she has panic attacks a couple times throughout the series. This validates Melody’s emotions and reactions and reinforces her bond with Valerie. In that moment, they aren’t pop culture ciphers, but people reacting to stress. Devaki Neogi reinforces this with her artwork that features a lot of close-up/medium panels so that readers can empathize with the Pussycats and the supporting cast instead of seeing them as monster bait.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space can definitely be read as enjoyable transposition of Americana icons into a science fiction horror setting with a suspenseful plot. However, the inclusion of the actual United States Space Force (Albeit with interplanetary travel capacities) hints at the layered satire of parasitic American imperialism. The inclusion of the Cabots, whose approach is basically to solve problems through money, explosions, and asking questions later is basically American foreign policy since JFK was shot. Also, it’s only hinted at in the first and final chapters because this is more of a comic about scary things than pop music, but Josie and the Pussycats themselves are just another cog in promoting the military industrial, I guess, space complex instead of being countercultural. Maybe, that’s the real reason why Valerie wants to work on solo material.

After that political interlude, Josie and the Pussycats in Space channels this cartoon band’s strangest era into a riveting thriller. Alex de Campi, Devaki Neogi, and Lee Loughridge masterfully transform a cool tour vehicle into an interstellar charnel house and definitely answer the question of “Could Josie and the Pussycats survive Alien?” This comic is worth a download for fans of all-girl pop bands, horror movies, or just exciting, well-crafted stories.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Devaki Neogi
Colors: Lee Loughridge Letters: Jack Morelli
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Josie & The Pussycats in Space Vol. 1

JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE VOL. 1

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Devaki Neogi, Lee Loughridge, Jack Morelli
Cover: Devaki Neogi
On Sale Date: 2/26/20
110 pages
$6.99 U.S.
ComiXology Original
Purchase

Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE VOL. 1

Preview: Josie & the Pussycats in Space #5

JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #5

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Devaki Neogi, Lee Loughridge, Jack Morelli
Cover: Devaki Neogi
On Sale Date: 2/26/20
25 pages
$2.99 U.S.
ComiXology Original

Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #5

Preview: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #4 (of 5)

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #4 (of 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Devaki Neogi, Lee Loughridge, Jack Morelli
Cover: Devaki Neogi
On Sale Date: 1/29/19
25 pages
$2.99 U.S.
ComiXology Original

Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #4 (of 5)

Preview: Joie and the Pussycats in Space #3 (of 5)

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #3 (of 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Devaki Neogi, Lee Loughridge, Jack Morelli
Cover: Devaki Neogi
On Sale Date: 12/26/19
25 pages
$2.99 U.S.
ComiXology Original

Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #3 (of 5)

Review: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1

Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1

It’s Josie and the Pussycats… in space (said in Space Ghost type way). I wasn’t sure what to expect in the comiXology Original series Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1. Launched as part of comiXology’s horror themed releases this month, I expected some sci-fi weirdness but not like this.

Written by Alex de Campi, the comic kicks off what feels a bit like an Alien-ish adventure. Josie and the Pussycats are on tour and during their travel to their latest gig, something goes wrong. de Campi does an interesting job in using horror tropes to enhance enjoyment. It winks and nods and just has fun with foreshadowing building the issue to its intriguing ending.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1 is filled with traditional science fiction and horror tropes. An example is the band talks about what they’re going to do when they’re done with the tour. It’s the well worn “retiring soon” plot which you know means something is going to go wrong. And that’s part of the fun in that I had no idea where things were going until those last few pages. Even with the clear hints, winks, and nods, it still keeps things a bit surprising.

The art by Devaki Neogi helps add to the atmosphere of it all. The style is in more of a traditional Archie style with a bit more of a modern look. Along with colors by Lee Loughridge and lettering by Jack Morelli the art belies the dread that’s oncoming. The last few pages emphasize this by delivering “horror moments” with a style I wouldn’t normally associate with that genre. It’s an interesting combination that creates an experience where there’s a mix of responses between the plot and art.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1 isn’t what I expected at all. By the end the comic felt much more of a traditional sci-fi horror story but in the expected Archie style. It’s a combination that’s fun and continues the publisher’s willingness to try new things but remain steadfast in who they are. It also keeps the reader on their toes not knowing what to expect when they see the Archie look they’ve come to know.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Devaki Neogi
Letterer: Jack Morelli Color: Lee Loughridge
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics/comiXology provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #1 (of 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Devaki Neogi, Lee Loughridge, Jack Morelli
Cover: Devaki Neogi
On sale date: 10/23/19
ComiXology Original

A ComiXology Original! Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN SPACE #1 (of 5)

Celebrate the Season for Horror Comics with comiXology Originals Dracula: Son of the Dragon, Josie and the Pussycats in Space, Tremor Dose, and Afterlift

ComiXology has announced three new creator-owned comiXology Originals to be released this October, just in time for Halloween. On October 23rd, comes the original graphic novel Dracula: Son of the Dragon written by Mark Sable with art by Salgood Sam. ComiXology and Archie Comics collide to bring readers Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1 written by Alex de Campi with art by Devaki Neogi. On October 30th, comes Tremor Dose, an original graphic novel written by Michael Conrad with art by Noah Bailey. And, announced earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con, Afterlift #1 written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Jason Loo debuts on October 30th. Each new comiXology Originals title will be available to read at no additional cost for Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited members and available for purchase on Kindle and comiXology.

Get chills on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 with these selections:

Dracula: Son of the Dragon

original graphic novel

Written by Mark Sable with art by Salgood Sam

Dracula: Son of the Dragon is part historical fiction, part horror fantasy and tells the blood-soaked epic of the real-life Vlad the Impaler’s transformation into the vampire Dracula.

Mark Sable and Max Douglas, aka Salgood Sam, re-unite to tell the story of Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Drucul), the so-called “historical Dracula”.  But how did this 15th century ruler become the world’s most notorious vampire? As an adolescent in Wallachia, young Prince Vlad learns hard lessons in politics and betrayal and is held prisoner of the Ottoman Turks after being introduced to the Dark Arts at the infamous Scholomance in Transylvania. To survive he believes he must kill in the name of God in order to serve the Holy Roman Order of The Dragon—a very secret – but very real – society both Vlad and his father were members of—but at what cost?

Dracula: Son of the Dragon

Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1

(Archie Comics)– 5-issue comic book series

Written by Alex de Campi with art by Devaki Neogi

Archie Comics’ musical group Josie and the Pussycats goes on tour for the USO…in space.

Josie and the Pussycats are the hottest band in outer space! But with fame and fortune comes turmoil as internal conflicts are threatening to tear the group apart. But that’s nothing compared to the alien horrors they’re about to encounter as they find themselves adrift in the vastness of space! Even if the Pussycats manage to stick together as a band, will they be able to survive the horrors that await them in the final frontier?

Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1

Sleep with the lights on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 with these selections:

Tremor Dose

original graphic novel

Written by Michael Conrad with art by Noah Bailey

Everyone dreams, but are these dreams our own? Who controls our thoughts when we’re sleeping? Ginn, is a young college student who has been having wildly disturbing nightmares featuring a man she has never met. When she finds a flyer with his picture and the question, “Have you dreamed this man?” she submits to an interview that begins to unravel her perceptions of reality.

Noah Bailey creates a unique look with striking black and white imagery, paint, ink, and graphite for the haunting and unusual tale.

Tremor Dose

Afterlift #1

5-issue comic book series

Written by Eisner Award and Joe Shuster Award winner, Chip Zdarsky, best known for his work on Sex Criminals and Daredevil, with art by Jason Loo, the acclaimed writer and artist of The Pitiful Human-Lizard

In Afterlift, Janice Chen is adrift. She quits her day job in finance and signs up to be a driver on a ride-sharing app. But what was at first a mundane but enjoyable way to pass the time takes a terrible turn when a mysterious passenger updates his ride with a very final destination: the afterlife!

Afterlift #1

Preview: Sweet Valley High – Academic All-Star? Original Graphic Novel

Sweet Valley High – Academic All-Star? Original Graphic Novel

writer: Katy Rex
artist: Devaki Neogi
cover: Devaki Neogi
FC | 112 pages | $14.99 | Teen+

When Jessica falls in love with her Shakespeare teacher, she begins to act like her studious twin sister Elizabeth to impress him. Now it’s up to Elizabeth to make sure that all’s well that end well – but with Jessica playing her role, will anyone be able to tell which twin is which?

The treasured series that has entertained generations and sold over 60 million books returns! Fans of the over 600 classic novels and spinoffs and the TV show will adore this charming graphic novel from rising star writer Katy Rex (Charmed Magic School, Jade Street Protection Services) and artist Devaki Neogi (The Skeptics, Curb Stomp). Sweet Valley High is also in development as a major motion picture.

Sweet Valley High – Academic All-Star? Original Graphic Novel

Sweet Valley High Adds a Graphic Novel to its Book Collection!

Dynamite will publish the first ever Sweet Valley High original graphic novel in Francine Pascal’s juggernaut all-ages soap opera franchise.

The $14.99 136-page Academic All-Star? reinvents the nostalgic saga of the Wakefield twins for a new era of readers, while paying tribute to the originals that captivated so many. Rising star writer Katy Rex enrolls in Sweet Valley with artist Devaki Neogi and colorist Pippa Mather.

Sweet Valley High debuted in 1983 from writer Francine Pascal and evolved into an incomparable success. The core series of novels has 181 installments and counting spinoffs adds up to over 400 books – amounting to hundreds of millions of copies. Fans will also remember the TV show from the 1990s which ran for four seasons starring Brittany and Cynthia Daniel.

The usually impulsive and rash Jessica develops a crush on her new Shakespeare teacher, motivating her to model herself on her regimented and sincere sister Elizabeth. Will people start mixing the two girls up? Will Jess fall back on her ways only for Liz to straighten everything out?

Sweet Valley High: Academic All-Star?
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