O Human Star: Volume One by Blue Delliquanti

Comic: O Human Star: Volume One
Release date: April 2015
Writer and Artist: Blue Delliquanti
Cover: full-color
Interior: full-color
Synopsis: Alastair Sterling was the inventor who sparked the robot revolution. And because of his sudden death, he didn't see any of it.
That is, until he wakes up 16 years later in a robot body that matches his old one exactly. Until he steps outside and finds a world utterly unlike the one he left behind - a world where robots live alongside their human neighbors and coexist in their cities. A world he helped create. 
Now Al must track down his old partner Brendan to find out who is responsible for Al's unexpected resurrection, but their reunion raises even more questions. Like who the robot living with Brendan is. And why she looks like Al. And how much of the past should stay in the past...

The Deal

For me, it all started with the 'O Human Star' Kickstarter campaign. After reading the synopsis and going over some of the artwork the decision to back the project wasn't hard at all. The parcel containing the graphic novel arrived the 22nd of April. It was wrapped in plain brown paper and shipped inside a sturdy cardboard envelope. 

The Feel

Soft cover, standard comic book sized, full-color graphic novel. It's a half inch thick book with 192-pages, kept together with perfect binding. The binding on my book is slightly off in the middle where the spine pushes outward towards the back cover and the paper on the spine is creased. A mistake made by the Chinese printer and probably just a glitch because the rest of the book has a very high end finish. The cover feels soft and silky. It's unfortunate the Kickstarter didn't reach the the spot gloss stretch goal. I like shiny covers I can run my fingers over. The paper used for the interior pages is bleached white from responsibly sourced paper stock. All the pages in my copy have been cut straight and all page edge whites have the same width. 

The Story

This first volume contains the first three chapters of the webcomic by the same name. Chapter One is all about getting to know all the characters, especially the main character of the book Alastair Sterling. He finds himself waking up sixteen years after his death. This first chapter takes it slow, introductions are made, relationships hinted at and the mystery starts. The blend of informative and action panels is well balanced. 
Chapter Two is more of a history lesson. We learn how Alastair and Brendan's life together began all those years ago. We switch between the present and the past in a natural flowing way. With the aid of the different page coloring (blue for present day, red for the past) we're never left in the wind as to where we are in time. The predominant question in this chapter is who brought Alastair back.
In Chapter Three we learn more about Sulla, another robot. At the end of the chapter I'm left with more questions than answers. Relationships are established and expanded. 
Overall it's a very good and well thought out story. There's a healthy mix between intrigue and romance. At the end of this first volume I'm left wishing there was more of it. I have no clue as to where we're going with the story.
The characters are well thought out. Sulla is new at being human and has insecurities which are fitting with her personality. Alistair remains a mystery even to himself and he behaves in a way that's fully plausible. And then there's Brendan. He seems open enough but there just might be a secret or two hiding in his closet. We'll have to wait and see what happens. 
A slight warning for the faint of heart, there are sexy love scenes between two men and romance is insinuated between women. This book is definitely for mature readers. 

The Look

The excellent use of limited colors has been very well thought out and done with masterful precision. The pallet compliments the story and the use of different color groups for the past and the present makes for an easier read. Especially because Alastair hasn't aged between those sixteen years and it would be hard to instantly recognize in what era you are. 
The blood red spots at the start of the first chapter stick out from the pale blue and force you to look directly at them. It enhances the angst and confusion that can be read on Alastair's face. I love the sometimes sketchy lines and the minimal use of the color black. The colors fit so well together it's almost psychedelic.

The Conclusion

If you have no quarrels about romance between the same sexes then this might just be the series for you. The emphasis of this comic seems to be more about personal relationships, whether it be gay, lesbian or robotic, than the overlying story arc of who brought Alastair back from the dead and why. The artwork fits the story spot on and the book is made to a high standard. Chapter Four is in the works and new pages are published weekly. There is more to this story and I can't wait to get my hands on Volume 2. I have no clue where it's all going and I really enjoy the mystery of it all. 

How to get a copy

When you buy a hard copy of Volume One straight from the website store of O Human Star you'll receive a signed and sketched copy for just 20,00 US$ plus shipping. If you don't want to spend as much money you can also download a PDF copy for just 5,00 US$ or you can start reading and following the webcomic on the same website and consider becoming a patron for a minimum of 1,00 US$ a month.The ISBN of the TPB is 978-0-9909956-0-9. It's now also available on Amazon USA.
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