I just can't get Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles out of my mind whenever I think about Enki Bilal's MEMORIES OF OUTER SPACE. I shouldn't really, as they have very little in common either narratively or stylistically. But, even though it wasn't the plan from the start, they both manage to succeed in expressing social commentary via loosely connected vignettes that together form a much more far-reaching canvas. The comparison really has to stop there, though, as MEMORIES OF OUTER SPACE is so dark, twisted, comically mad and shameless that I wouldn't want to give you the wrong impression. Of course, these differing elements are why I really love this book.
I've no doubt said it before, but Bilal is one of the most significant graphic storytellers working in comics today. From his sci-fi opus, The Nikopol Trilogy, to his collaborations with Pierre Christin on such political thrillers as The Hunting Party and The Black Order Brigade, he time and time again raises the standard for which stories can be told in the graphic novel format.
MEMORIES OF OUTER SPACE is a unique compilation of his earliest work, although you certainly couldn't guess upon looking at it. In its pages, you'll meet Grabulbs and Gloobs and Plitches. You'll travel from the Earth to the battlefields of Arcturus to the colonies in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. And the best part is that you can do all of this without leaving your living room.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.