LEAP #0 from Uproar Comics

leapA Space faring Neo-Science Fiction Epic that explores the light of the human experience within the vast unending darkness of the universe.

“The Vanguard” – The most state-of-the-art Interstellar vessel ever created,  roars through the vast darkness of space. It’s crew of 24, held in a suspended dream-like stasis for decades in what seems like the blink of an eye.

Eighty years earlier, a united Earth worked together in the face of human extinction towards a common goal – to send a team of humanities best beyond observable space, dubbed Project LEAP. Their goal is to map the stars so that the human race can some day follow them and find new resources, new life and if needs be… a new home!

Decades after launch they reach their first destination, and our story begins, but what will the crew find on the new planet they orbit, aliens, machines, gods? What will they find out about themselves, their objectives and their futures…

Aliens, planets, monsters, robots and spaceships- who knows what else is out there! We send them our hope, for hope is all we can send them…

Volume Zero of this brand new title comes in full colour A4 high quality trade paper back print containing 46 pages of scifi goodness. Concept originally created by Daniel McLaughlin and Kevin Logue, all art duties we’re held in house by the Uproar Team of Jonny Lynn, Ciaran Doherty, Richard Rodgers,  Marcus Kirk and Nathan McIntyre. Exclusive to this issue only lead art duties were held by Michael O’Callaghan. With a special shout out to the rest of the team – Holly Stinson, Michael “The Bearded” Arbuthnot, Stephen King, Heather Taylor, Ruth Thompson, Chris McGovern, and Jordan Sandy.

Uproar Comics, the Northern Ireland based Multimedia Production, Publishing and Services Company, are best known for their critically acclaimed and award winning comic book series, Zombies Hi which – as the observant among you may have figured out – features a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested, scenario.

The guys and gals at Uproar, being the mighty Nerds that they are, have a self-confessed love of sci-fi and so after running a competition in 2013 to help decide what their next major project would be they have unveiled what promises to be a space epic: Leap.  It’s a gamble, but they are fearless. Set in the distant future, over 86 years since departing the Earth, the crew of the Vanguard are awoken when their star ship, Vanguard, reaches an inhabited planet.

The story starts with action, as one of the (probably) main characters, Pol, not only encounters two different intelligent lifeforms but saves one from the other; I felt a sense of Alien meets Star Trek during this encounter as Pol was dressed in something similar to Ripley’s exosuit but the landscape and atmosphere was very much Kirk battling the Gorn.  When Pol stands victorious, and the carnivorous alien has run to the hills, the bipedal, almost human, aliens that he rescued are in awe of him.

It is quickly established when Pol is contacted by a colleague that he is a bit of a wildcard who doesn’t obey the rules, so it was a nice touch to have some of the character archetypes introduced for the future.  Speaking of characters we really only see 4 in this prologue issue: Pol, the Head of Security (and new God to the aliens); Cole, the defacto damsel in distress as he gets himself captured and has to be rescued; Prime/Anna, the tough, no nonsense commander of the expedition; and her helper droid. They each have a unique voice – including the droid who, for some reason, I don’t trust! ;) – and the interplay between them is a nice setup for future issues.

There is, of course, drama other than just the mandatory battle with the indigenous race as what will probably be part of the major plotline is revealed. I won’t spoil it but, as is to be expected in something of this genre, not everything on board the Vanguard – or with the mission – is what it seems.  We are given plenty of teases for future issues such as the mysterious ‘beacons’ that are to be left on each planet, what happened to the Project: LEAP offices, what does the chief engineer son of the man behind Project: LEAP know, and just WHAT is that shifty looking/acting droid up to?!?

…ok, the thing about the droid may just be me ;)

Now, being honest, not everything is perfect with Leap #0. The dialogue is a bit clunky in places and the plot is verging very close to clichéd (Prometheus, Alien, Star Trek, and Enemy Mine came to mind while reading it) but to be fair to the Uproar team it is impossible to put out something like this without comparisons to what came before being made. In their defence Uproar don’t cross the cliché line – thanks to the unique touches and mysteries they are putting in themselves; I especially liked the way that Pol’s exosuit resembled the aliens (three ‘fingers’) which led to his sudden rise to Deity hood.

The artwork is mostly very good indeed.  The backgrounds are lovely, as are the aliens and the droids.  Most of the characters look good but there was something that I didn’t like about Prime’s face.  Now maybe she is just meant to look slightly different to most female characters that we’ve seen before but, for me, her face was just a little too long.  A niggle, I know, but when everything else is good you notice the negatives more.

The lettering is good, with different choices nicely highlighting the human versus alien languages.  Two more small niggles here are the fact that if you are going to use alien profanity then use it or don’t, but don’t use a ‘tongue in cheek’ narrative box which takes you a little out of the story.  Also the carnivorous alien looked beautiful but the sound affects used for its ‘roar’ could’ve have been developed better …unfortunately it looked like the same sound effect/lettering had simply been cut, resized, and pasted into different panels.

The story/plot is engaging, enough familiarity to other big sci-fi movies to make it comfortable with enough new and unique touches to make it interesting.  The mysteries are nicely introduced, without seeming heavy handed, and at the end of the issue I was definitely left wanting to read more about the Vanguard and her crew.

So, as a completely different comic – in presentation, style, and genre – from Zombies Hi! Uproar has taken a brave gamble which, for me, has paid off.

Definitely worth picking up and trying out.

uproarUproar Comics are a Northern Ireland based Multimedia Production, Publishing and Services Company. In June 2011 from a love of comics we as a group of hobbyists produced and we released what has become our flagship title the Award winning and on-going series “Zombies Hi”. With rapid sales we continued on with the series and soon began facilitating workshops around comic production. Organically the company starting forming around us, we naturally fell into our new roles and in October 2011 Uproar Comics was officially established.

Growth of the company seen us expand into delivering tailor made workshops, game and app development, and applying our unique skill set to finding creative solutions for businesses to engage with the audiences through innovative marketing material. We believe in telling stories and the power of both words and art no matter the medium and we intend to explore them all.

We have worked with a wealth of happy and reputable clientele including the BBC, Western Trust, Culture Company, Public Health Agency, and the European Business Network. We believe in keeping our clients happy by providing them with products and services that don’t comprise on quality at a very competent price and this has provided us with our track record for great client satisfaction.

http://www.uproarcomics.co.uk

Fox Talk by L.E. Carmichael, PhD

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About the Book

Title: Fox Talk

Author: L.E. Carmichael, PhD

Book Designer: Michael Penman

Illustrator: Jody Bronson

Photography: Brian Dust

Publication Date: August 8, 2013

Publisher: Ashby-BP Publishing

Pages: 62

Recommended Age: 8+

 

Summary

When you talk to a dog, does the dog talk back? Many people think so. But for a long time, scientists didn’t know how our furry friends learned to communicate with people. Luckily, Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev had a plan. If he could tame wild red foxes, he could learn how dogs first came from wolves. By studying the way these foxes changed during domestication, the mystery of communication would be solved at a last. More than 50 years after the experiment began, Belyaev’s foxes have become so tame, you can have one as a pet! Packed with eye-popping photos and first-hand research, FOX TALK reveals the story of these amazing animals… and everything they’ve taught us about wolves, dogs, and communication.

Early Buzz About the Book

“Fox Talk is an educational non-fiction title exploring the domestication of dogs by studying fox behaviour and communication. The information is presented with beautiful photographs, illustrations, bubbles/boxes of brief information, and descriptions of the research findings using age-appropriate language. I think this would be an excellent resource in elementary schools or for homeschoolers in particular and I highly recommend it.” ~ 5-Star Review, Mother Daughter Book Reviews

 

Purchase

Fox Talk by L.E. Carmichael

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About The Author: L.E. Carmichael

L.E. Carmichael Author

L.E. Carmichael

Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing’s more fun than amazing your friends (and correcting your teachers!) with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts. Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General’s Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes. Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L E Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, Kiki, and Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Her published science books cover everything from animal migration to hybrid cars. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey’s probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Ashby Publishers

 

Fox Talk Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

January 27

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

Books Direct (Author Interview)

January 28

Victoria Simcox’s Blog (Guest Post)

Once Upon a Time (Review)

January 29

Baby Bookworms in Black Words – White Pages (Review)

Giveaway Breaking News for Indonesia (Book Spotlight)

January 30

Generation iKid (Guest Post)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

January 31

Bound 4 Escape (Review)

No Doubt Learning (Review)

February 1

Cherry Mischievous (Guest Post)

We are the DinoFamily (Review)

February 2

Deal Sharing Aunt (Review)

February 3

Stitch Says (Author Interview)

February 4

Maude’s Web (Review)

February 5

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Guest Post)

Brooke Blogs (Review)

February 6

Books, Books The Magical Fruit (Review)

February 7

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

Bailey’s Book Blog (Author Interview)

Mel’s Shelves (Review)

February 8

On the Go With Zeppi (Book Spotlight)

February 10

The Squishable Baby (Review)

Hershey Wishes and Kisses (Review)

February 11

Christy’s Houseful of Chaos (Review & Author Interview)

Lakshmi Gosyne (Book Excerpt)

February 12

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Review)

Dawn’s Disaster (Review & Guest Post)

February 13

Manic Mama of 2 (Review)

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo (Author Interview)

February 14

Domestic Randomness (Review)

The Dragyn’s Lair (Review)

February 15

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Review)

February 16

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

 

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash) + a Skype visit to a school or library of the winner’s choice ($250 value).

Contest runs: January 27th to February 21, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Worldwide

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, Ashby-BP Publishing and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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