Caught My Eye: Serpo

Devil’s Due Publishing





Guest Post

My stalking habits of Jason M. Burns and Joe Eisma continue with this review of Serpo out of Devils Due Publishing. What can I say, these guys seem to have single handedly sucked me in using their tractor beam from their mother ship. Serpo is a sci-fi story that is based on the “true” events following the alien space ship crash in Roswell, New Mexico.

The Dummy’s Guide to Danger: Lost at Sea team of writer Jason M. Burns and artist Joe Eisma have re-united on a project spearheaded by the TV producer Vin Di Bona. The interesting thing about this story is that is based on the true events that played out of the UFO that supposedly crashed back in late 1940’s. The events that transpired are documented in extensive detail on the website Assuming this story did indeed happen, reading the graphic novel plays out more like a documentary than a sci-fi thriller.

I am not sure to what extent of the story was Vin Di Bona’s and Burn’s, but after reading Serpo, I checked the site to see how many similarities existed between fact and fiction and I was surprised to see the story came right out of the documented accounts. If you check out the book and become fascinated in these accounts, contains countless hours of entertainment of archival glee. But be warned, big brother is no doubt watching the visitor logs on the server and you will forever be on their tracking lists…

Devil’s Due Publishing

The story and dialog is surprisingly different from previous Burn’s outings. I was expecting lots of mayhem and wild characters, but what was delivered played out more like a serious film. The mood of the book somewhat reminded me of a tamer Stanley Kubrick film. The style of writing was vastly different from his earlier works, but only in that it seemed more mature and serious in nature. Sadly, the dialog didn’t show too much of the Burn’s style since this book was a different type of beast. Hopefully, in the next book that he writes, the writing and dialog will be more of mix between his past wackiness and this book. I think that finding that medium between the two would put him on a path for more recognition in the future.

Joe Eisma’s art has also matured some from Dummy’s, and it was fun to see how he did things a little different. His story telling abilities improved and he had a few cool sequences to bring to life. My favorite one was one of the action scenes that reminded me of something out of a Jason Bourne movie. That page is probably my favorite in the entire book and you will know it when you see it. The style overall was the same as his previous outing, but it was a little more refined in Serpo. I can’t wait to see what his next book will look like.

Devil’s Due Publishing

One problem with the way the book was written was that the team of humans the book follows focuses on their code names which are numbers only. Added to that is that the uniform designs make every one of these numbered characters look nearly identical. I felt bad for Eisma, because his task was pretty daunting to try and make a dozen characters who are all dressed identical look different. That was probably the worst part of the book for me, but thankfully, it only focused on three to four characters and they had distinct faces and hair so telling them apart wasn’t too terribly difficult.

Another slight against the book was the coloring style that was used. When on the alien planet, lots of interesting choices were made by Dustin Evans. Most of the scenes on Serpo were done in an almost pastel or psychedelic look to them that left a little to be desired. There was one scene which was a flashback that had a very cool look to it though. It was a mix between a black and white with some tan thrown in that I felt worked really well.

Overall, I felt Serpo was a worthy outing in the sci-fi genre. While most stories like this are more over the top and filled with mindless action, this one had a slower pace and made you think about how we as humans handle situations outside our norm. There were several scenes that made me almost feel ashamed for the human race since we sometimes act in ways that later are regretted.

Writer: Jason M. Burns
Art: Joe Eisma
Color: Dustin Evans
Devil’s Due Publishing
Released July 2008
Diamond Order Code: JUN083874