Rating if the Book Were a Movie: R
Writer: Paul Hanley
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Cover: Paul Hanley
Editor: Laurie Foster
Publisher: Laguna Studios
Story: 4.1 Stars
Artwork: 4.0 Stars
Cover Artwork: 4.2 Stars
Dialogue: 4.3 Stars
Mechanics: 4.3 Stars
Editing: 4.3 Stars
About the Book:
It’s 1999. Ten year old Janice Saturnalia is returning from a recruiting trip to CalTech. The young lady is a prodigy when it comes to numbers. Because of the short notice of the trip, Janice is unable to sit with her mother and brother in first class. Rather than sitting at the front of the plane she is sitting next to Bob. Bob, the man who seems to be clairvoyant, will change her life forever.
Kickstarter is a blessing and curse for me. There is so much great content out there that I would never have known about if not for this platform. I find myself backing a countless number of projects. By the time the books I’ve backed arrive I have usually forgotten that I had backed the project.
A stack of Gemini mailers from these projects sits on my reading queue of short boxes. When I want to take a break from my regular titles I grab a book from this stack. Most mailing labels are nondescript, so I don’t know which book I’m picking out.
It is Christmas morning as I peel the tape off of the mailer to examine the contents. Sometimes there are prints, stickers, postcards, and other various stretch goals included. Those are neat; but they’re not why I backed the project. The reason I backed the book is the 20-40 pages of visual storytelling glory just waiting to be taken out of the bag.
Warp Hustler ended up in my hands after seeing a post about its Kickstarter campaign on social media. It looked like something different from most books. As it turns out, stories that are different from most books tend to be in my wheelhouse.
I love the foundation that Warp Hustler is built on. It feels like Doctor Who, where anything in time or space is possible. This story’s only limitation is what situations the creative team is able to imagine putting Janice in.
Warp Hustler is very easy to fall into. From the word go the story engrosses the reader. We start off with a “did that just happen?!” moment and go on a whirlwind journey from there. Before the reader can blink they’re eager to see what happens next.
Bob is the kind of character that is easy to love or hate. As Janice puts it, he’s an asshole. He has plans that he never lets anyone else in on, even when the people that need to know the plan are part of his team. He also can be funny and doesn’t hesitate to tell it like it is.
I’m very fond of this cover. It instantly makes one wonder, “What in the world is happening here?!” Any cover that can do that has already won the battle. It’s a great way to garner attention for a new title. I know it was a factor for me backing this particular campaign.
I appreciated how the artwork on the interior pages was done. We get terrific lines and facial expressions on the characters. Backgrounds are full; but not so filled with minutiae that it distracts from the story.
As a geek on a budget I would highly recommend reading Warp Hustler. It is an exciting story that deals with wobbly, wobbbly, timey, wimey stuff. After reading this book you won’t need to call the Doctor. You’ll need to call a friend and tell them about the book you just read.