cover image Celestia


Manuele Fior, trans. from the Italian by Jamie Richards. Fantagraphics, $29.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-68396-438-4

Sci-fi visionary Fior (5,000 KM per Second) returns with a visually stunning if underdeveloped postapocalyptic adventure. After the vaguely defined “Great Invasion” some decades ago, much of humanity now lives in Celestia, a waterlogged island city in the middle of a lagoon. Among them is a small group of telepaths, including Pierrot, a loner haunted by the death of his mother, which occurred during attempts to seal Celestia away from the invaders. After reuniting with Dora, another telepath, the two escape a gang of thugs via a dangerous boat ride to the mainland. There, they discover a few adult remnants of humanity dazedly wandering through their “normal” lives while a generation of telepathic children lays the groundwork for a new kind of society. Fior’s artistry is as impeccable as ever, with incredible watercolor washes lending a literal fluidity to his dynamic and expressive character designs. Less successfully, the script leans heavily on tropes of the gruff, suffering male protagonist and the tender female deuteragonist who loves him despite his abusive behavior. Artistically forward-thinking, the themes turn backward in execution. Despite the unoriginal character study, Fior proves he remains one of the finest painters in comics. (July)