Worthwhile Webcomics: Galaxion, by Tara Tallan

Mama Fisi
Mama Fisi's picture

A very well-drawn comic strip I have recently found, is Galaxion, by Tara Tallan. It has a vaguely anime-ish look to it, and features several strong female characters in the lead roles. Since I've only just begun reading the seven-year-long archive, I'm going to quote from the comic's "Story So Far" FAQ for a synopsis...

Galaxion is a science fiction adventure and romance, one that feels something like a mix between Star Trek, classic Star Blazers anime, and a Lois McMaster Bujold (Hugo-winning author of the Miles Vorkosigan saga) novel. Unlike most graphic novel science fiction, Galaxion is not dark and gritty, but bright and clean and a little whimsical, and populated by characters you actually wouldn’t mind meeting over dinner and getting to know personally.

Galaxion is the name of a scientific survey starship owned and operated by the Terran Space Association, and captained by Fusella Mierter . As the story begins, TerSA has made a deal with rival organization Interplanetary Patrol, giving the Galaxion over to General Scavina Nelson to test the new Nelson Drive engine (named after Scavina’s husband, who invented it and disappeared during the first test). While Fusella’s crew retain their positions, Scavina has assumed command of the Galaxion for the duration of the test flight.

Scavina has brought a team along with her to install, operate and monitor the new engines. Her team includes the charming Darvin Deloren (executive officer) and the geeky Zandarin Wilder (scientific advisor), old friends of Fusella’s. The story is told from the point of view of Aria Schafer, a member of Galaxion’s Survey Contact team. She meets Darvin and Zandarin on an unauthorized reconnaissance of the Galaxion (while it is in drydock being refitted with the new engines) with Fusella.

All preparations done, the moment arrives to finally test the new engines. Although Aria experiences a momentary disorientation, most of the crew don’t notice anything. In fact, after the “jump” it is not clear that anything has happened at all. Observations place them still well within the solar system. The only clue that anything has occurred is that the man-made landmarks (like Mars’ Horus Station) are gone. So the crew gradually discovers that something weird has happened...

The comic's been around for quite some time--since the mid-1990's--but the webcomic version of Galaxion debuted in September 2006, and it has posted a new page every Tuesday ever since. The webcomic is a considerably rewritten and entirely redrawn version of the print comic. The basic plot is the same, but with new scenes and new viewpoints.