There are several people I have professed my public love for in the comic community. However, the person who I will die on a hill for is Liana Kangas. Not only has Liana been on two of my favorite series: She Said Destroy (Vault) and Trve Kvlt (Kickstarter and IDW), but they have done about 69420 absolutely amazing variant/exclusive covers which could replace Scrooge McDuck's pool of gold coins (and probably make for easier swimming).
When Boom! Studios announced that Liana was joining Sarah Gailey (Eat the Rich...another favorite of mine) and Rebecca Nalty (Finger Guns!!!) I about had a heart attack. When the writer of one of my top-10 books of 2021, one of the most underrated colorists in the game, and one of my top 5 favorite artists team-up was announced, I knew issue #1 would be EPIC! So, if you didn't snag a first printing of #1, here are the top 5 reasons you should pre-order a copy of the second print of:
Know Your Station #1 (Boom Studios)
By: Sarah Gailey, Liana Kangas, Rebecca Nalty
Released: December 7, 2022
2nd Printing: January 4, 2023
Number 5: What will happen in Gailey's twisted world?
While I have not read any of Gailey's novels (Christmas break maybe?) one of the things I loved the most about issue 1 of Eat the Rich is replicated in Know Your Station. They really know how to create a very pleasant world in the first 5-7 pages of an issue which makes you wish you lived there...and then throughout the rest of the issue the façade is ripped away and you learn about something horrific happening behind the scenes.
In Know Your Station #1 we explore a technologically advanced space station for the world's super rich who live in peace and safety whilst creating solutions to some "soilside" problems. However, relatively quickly we learn about a murder on board of a fairly prominent citizen, in a gruesome fashion and it's still hush-hush. (Kangas/Nalty's depiction of the murder is so scarring to the character that the effect is felt by the reader!).
Number 4: A thorough criticism of Capitalism is engaged.
I love reading all sorts of critical/philosophical literature and while most anti-capitalist literature is in your face of why capitalism is a horrific economic system. Know Your Station's worldbuilding does this in a very intelligent way of not just showing the dichotomy of the lifestyles of the wealthy and the crew as an argument but the hyper-specific roles given to the crew also does something...
Know Your Station is not just a title that may make you go "oh, cool, know about a space station..." Once you see the segmentation of different layers of the crew and support staff, the idea of "knowing" your station can be a clever referent to where you are in terms of social stratification. Remember when you were forced to read Brave New World in high school? This is what instantly popped into mind from the conditioning center:
There is a place,
a function for all.
So everyone is happy.
Are the Alphas, Betas,
Gammas and Deltas ...
All belongs to all.
We must respect Deltas,
Gammas and Betas.
All are useful.
Number 3 and Number 2: Can We Talk About the Art?
Click to Expand and Explore!
Can I just say how perfect of a pairing Kangas and Nalty are in terms of their complimentary skillsets?
I am in love with the way Liana Kangas draws people. There's just something with the angular lines on the human face which makes me instantly know I'm looking at something drawn by Liana. Seriously, go check out their website and there's both a rigidity and softness at the same time that I've not seen in any other artist. Its a unique style I've not seen taken on by anyone else and I'm in love!
The color palate is breathtaking! There are several super intriguing choices that blow me away. The chief reason you need to buy the book is for some of the pages you can't see publicly. The space station has the capacity to show a recording of events which happen inside the room. We see this happen in two different instances, and the interplay between the people in the present moment and the spectral characters in the recording which is awe-inspiring with how it translated to art.
I'm just going to put this out here now, any book which has these two creators on it, I'm probably buying at least 10 copies, because my sweaty grubby man hands will smudge and destroy the pages just from looking at it and flipping through it so often, that my number of "mint" copies will slowly dwindle.
Number 1: I'm bullish on Boom! Studios right now.
I really think Boom Studios is putting out a mountain of quality titles right now, and as a collector who finds ways to "make the hobby pay for itself..." I've had a lot of success recently with several first prints of Boom! titles selling to offer an excellent return on my investment. Secondly, I'm going to assume if we can get this book to multiple printings, on multiple issues, we may get more books created by this epic trio, which will make us all happier (well....maybe not my wallet...but it's not sentient so there's that).
If I wasn't hooked by simply reading the solicit of issue #1, then reading the first issue has me locked in and fired up to see how this creative team continues to guide us along on this twisted space journey!
Have you read issue I of Know Your Station? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!