Comics Features

REVIEW: GalaxaFreaks Issue #1 and #2

Written by Tommy Partl

Gear up for psychedelic cosmic adventure. Andrew Pawley‘s Galaxafreaks takes you through the wilds and weirds of the universe in its first two issues. A bright, zany art style, hilarious 1970s dialogue, and colorful characters make this a must-read for anyone looking for a chill, groovy time.

Deep inside a Higgs Boson particle lives a Freak. Held together by the power of love, this spaceface creature is home to a whole cosmic universe within its head.  Inside, dreams come and go, reality is in flux, and anything is possible. Here exists the Galaxafreaks: Captain Yeah!, Optik, Raymondo, and Ringzola.

The first issue is split into three stories. First, the Galaxafreaks have chill times and play spacetime sports like Freakball. Things go haywire when Optik decides to take a lick of the Freakball, and ends up in a drug trip that lasts millennia. Then, an innocent boy creates a mind-expanding set of headphones that threaten to disrupt the whole cosmic order. Finally, Rainbow Streak gets a case of the Vibekillers after ingesting an infected tape. Each story builds on this crazy cosmic world, adding more and more depth and wacky situations.

In Issue #2, things get bad for Captain Yeah! when two superfans take a bite of his brain during an epic fight with a cosmic supervillain. Also, an evil warlord captures the Galaxafreaks, intent on eating their Sparkle, which is the life force for all cosmic life. Craziness ensues as our heroes try to escape this ravenous villain. These stories always have strange twists and turns, and Pawley’s druggy dialogue adds to the zaniness and hilarity in the stories.

Pawley’s art is immediately engaging. He splotches bright colors all over the page, using a whole rainbow to turn Galaxafreaks into visual candy. He’s also not afraid to use artistic techniques not often seen in comics. When the universe starts splitting in Issue #1, you’ll see it represented by a chaotic mix of collage. His abstract backgrounds add a pop-art avante-garde vibe, as if Jackson Pollack took a ton of acid. His panels are typically large, taking up about half the page, which lets the reader focus in on the brushwork in each character. While most comic artists shy away from showing their hand, Pawley isn’t afraid of using brushstrokes to excellent effect by adding shading and differing color.

The result is an added trippiness to each character and a style that engages the viewer much more than a solid color fill. Pawley also uses transparent overlays and patterns, similar to things seen in printmaking, to add to the extraterrestrial, hallucinogenic atmosphere. At times you’ll feel like you’re on drugs while reading it. Pawley’s art style makes him stand out among today’s artists. No one else blends the bizarre with the unconventional with the colorful to create such a fun, cool comic.

Feeling far out? Are you ready to surf the cosmos with Captain Yeah! and the rest of the Galaxafreaks? Or are you not feeling their vibes, man? Post your thoughts in the comments or sound off on Twitter!

About the author

Tommy Partl