Teddy Edwards

PANEL ZERO #3

Posthumous Volume 1
Written and drawn by Cindy Gauthier

By J Bardyla

Curiosity can be a great and terrible thing. It can take people places they never thought they’d go. It can add to one’s knowledge and one’s wisdom. It can kill cats.

Curiosity also drives the events of Posthumous, an independent science fiction comic by Edmonton creator Cindy Gauthier.

In the oversized first issue, we join the main characters, Adrian and Morgana, mid-journey. Their ongoing attempt to reach the “far side” of the galaxy has been interrupted, sending them on what seems to be a sidequest, like one might encounter in a classic role-playing video game. The camaraderie and history of the two friends is almost immediately evident. Their banter is smooth and genuine, quickly giving the reader a sense of who the characters are.

This issue of Posthumous doesn’t answer all the questions it asks. Why does Adrian want to reach the edge of the galaxy so badly? Why did they stop at this planet to hunt for “treasure”? Those sorts of plot details are secondary to the book’s prime directives: introducing the protagonists and giving the artwork a spotlight.

Gauthier was the 11th artist-in-residence of Happy Harbor Comics (now Wonderland Edmonton). During her 32-week tenure there, she completed about 45 pages of her debut project—an impressive quantity of work considering the level of detail in her art. Gauthier does not fall back on many modern comics creator shortcuts. A high panel count per page keeps the story moving—and those panels have backgrounds that draw the reader in, hunting for clues to the story. Also her creature designs are both creative and intricate.

Interior art from “Posthumous Volume 1.” // Cindy Gauthier

Folks who remember the black-and-white comics boom of the 1980s and early ’90s will find the art reminiscent of early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Cerebus. Personally it reminds me of nothing so much as Drew Hayes’ Poison Elves series, not just for the heavy detail but also the sheer raw quality of the work. Gauthier performs all the creative chores on her first completed comic, from script to lettering—no small task for even the most experienced cartoonist. There are many overlapping disciplines in play, and while she has an excellent grasp on many of them, Posthuous promises creative evolution to come that will only make the stories better.

Overall this first volume is a fairly straightforward, enjoyable tale with a nice reveal near the end that should bring readers back for more. While Gauthier does have an end in mind for the series, the Milky Way is a lot of ground to cover. As the book’s sole creator, it will likely take her some time to reach that conclusion.

In the current age of darker heroes and stories, reading something a bit lighter is a refreshing change. Posthumous’ blend of friends realizing personal dreams with out-of-this world magic and action is well worth supporting.

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