Birth TPB and Novo #1-3
Written and Created by Michael S. Bracco
Birth: Cover price: $8.00; Available Now
Novo: #1-3, Cover price: $3.00; Available Now
Hot alien sex, cool monsters, wild alien technology, huge, bloody war scenes, a progeny, and a world’s fight for survival.
You had me at hot alien sex.
One world. Two species. A planet divided. Will they destroy one another or work together to solve their mutual problem? Michael S. Bracco starts his epic with the graphic novel Birth. Alterna Comics then publishes issues 1-3 following the journey of the offspring Novo.
Although it’s 88 pages Birth is a swift, smooth read. Take your time and take it all in though because Bracco chronicles the story of a world that has come to its penultimate epoch, thus creating its one chance for salvation, Novo. In it there are whole pages devoted to small single panels that not only show the passage of time and space, but also evoke emotion. Bracco’s backgrounds seem especially influenced by manga and they have a very alive, flowing feel. The art seems more etched than drawn. The covers for both Birth and all the Novo issues are in color, however the interiors are all black and white. Whether it is natural or conformed, Bracco’s style is perfect for the black and white medium. The waterfront battle scene is very graphic, but the black and white format absorbs some of the horror.
In Novo, the hero starts his journey. He’s not really a hero, but more a victim who has learned what has been inflicted upon himself and his world. In his innocence Novo theorizes, “There’s got to be whole worlds filled with people who have mothers and fathers, people who don’t hate each other, people who don’t kill each other over nothing.” Well, we are exploring space…
To me the story of Birth/Novo seems like it was always there, but Bracco has pulled it from our collective consciousness and put it down on paper with ink. As you pull back and start to learn more about the history of the planet, and about the planet itself, everything just seems to make sense. I found it very natural, almost organic, primal.
Bracco also creates some very cool, original concepts. Not all of them are comfortable. Some even made me think about my life, human life, and the life of our planet. He shows the cruelty, hatred, and ethnocentrism of sentient beings. Novo learns that the two species blame their problems on curses placed on them from the other species. The curses are used as a myth to explain the flaws of the two species — just like humans have done for thousands of years.
He throws us a few curve balls along the way as well. All of them seem to work at not only progressing the story, but continuing the flow of the epic nature of the concept. There is a really unexpected turn of events in issue 3 of Novo that works to give direction to the story, but changes the whole context in which the protagonist strives. That direction has yet to be defined and I hope it is explored in future issues of Novo.
The three issues of Novo vary in page count. Novo #1 has 22 pages, Novo #2 has 23 pages, and Novo #3 has 30 pages. What this tells me is that Bracco is concerned with conveying his vision rather than conforming his story into a nice, set format for the printer. Bracco has created a life work and really seems to know where he is going with Novo and he definitely has something to say. I hear you, Michael. Just like I hear that last page of Novo issue #3 calling for some hot alien sex. And if that’s not what you had planned, you think you could hook me up?…
Birth is available at both Amazon.com and the Alterna Comic Shop.
Novo is available at the Alterna Comic Shop.