If there is one genre that has endured through the ages it’s science fiction. Its popularity comes and goes but it seems like it’ll always remain with us. Xavier Dollo, author, bookseller, editor and speaker at the “University of Rennes 2,” has written a comic that chronicles science fiction’s long history called “The History of Science Fiction: A Graphic Novel Adventure” with artist Djibril Morissette-Phan and translated by Mark Bence.
With the use of famous science fiction writers and robots Robby (“Forbidden Planet) and Jenkins (“City” by Clifford D. Simak) Dollo has the reader travel through the centuries talking about different works and writers who have shaped science fiction. From Homer’s “Odyssey” all the way up to Mary Shelly, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell and many others whose works has shaped the genre and inspired many writers and directors to create science fiction. Creating a history of anything in comic form isn’t new but the way you use the medium will make or break the history. Having famous science fiction writers tell the history is the best way to go about it.
Readers will enjoy the fact that this history is told by people who are experts on the genre. On top of that, this comic touches of writers and stories that many people don’t know about because their names and works have drifted into obscurity. As a plus, this comic touches on comics and even manga. While manga only gets a few lines it’s nice that at least someone is noticing them. Morissette-Phan’s art makes science fiction fans feel right at home because the comic looks like science fiction comics from the 1940s/50s. If there ever was an era that gave science fiction its distinct look it’s that. Also, some of the panels are creative.
One example is when Michael Moorcock, H.G Wells and Judith Merril are traveling in the “TARDIS and they encounter scenes from five science fiction novels and even “The Twilight Zone.” There’s even a few pages showing the “pantheon of science fiction writers” that look like an Ancient Greek mosaic.
Science fiction fans who want a comic book that tells the history of the genre can’t go wrong with “The History of Science Fiction: A Graphic Novel Adventure.” The use of writers from the genre telling the history and art that looks like the typical science fiction comic makes it a treasure to the genre.