NJJ Studio; $20

In the far flung future, humankind has spread out across the cosmos, going as far as the other side of the galaxy. Humanity has found success in colonizing new worlds, though they have yet to meet sentient alien life. One of the biggest dangers faced by the explorers who have ventured deep into space is the lack of rescue options.

Zita is a 19-year-old with a talent for fixing tech who dreams of establishing a Deep Space Rescue team. Since she was once rescued from an escape pod by her now-surrogate father Buxton, Zita feels passionately about helping others in need. But her dream of rescuing others is hindered by a lack of necessary equipment and other obstacles – which often results in Zita being injured. Thankfully her medic friend Aleksy (who also happens to have a crush on Zita) is always there to help.

D.S.R Deep Space Rescue is an imaginative adventure book with heart, humor, and beautiful artwork. The reader is introduced to three main characters (with informative bios at the beginning of the book) who are all instantly likeable. Zita is brave and ambitious, Buxton is the long-suffering, loving father figure, and Aleksy is a healer, doggedly trying to help people. The concept is also refreshing. While most stories set in the distant future are dystopian wastelands or the intergalactic Wild West, this one is about exploration, integration, and helping people.

The book starts with a note from writer and illustrator Nathan Jeffers, an artist who has been creating and selling his work on the comic convention circuit for years. This tidbit of information provides context for the beauty and creativity of the art. He fills every page with details from crowded markets to characters’ expressions to action-packed travel scenes. The same attention is paid to the coloring with a vibrantly rendered palette used on the settings, the backgrounds, and characters themselves.

The 64-page first volume was initially funded via Kickstarter, and is now available on Etsy. Comic shop and book store retailers can take advantage of a wholesale option featuring discounts on bulk quantities on eBay.

A Kickstarter campaign for the second volume will open for backing on June 1, 2024. Jeffers provided Scoop with promo images for the upcoming campaign.

-Amanda Sheriff