Comic Crafters’ Corner: Exilium #1 from Alterna Comics



Creator – Ben Slabak

Pencils/Inks – Salomon Farias

Colors – Marc Sintes

Lettering – HDe

Sadly for most readers here,

the creator of this title resides

literally on the other side of the world

in the neighborhood of Sidney Australia.

This hasn’t stopped Ben Slabak from assembling a completely international team of talent in order to help him showcase his ideas to the world including most interestingly and importantly – for us here across the pond. 

He and his artists are a great example for all indie creators to look to, in order to gain some inspiration into the manner in which creators can truly see

that it is possible to take control.

It is possible to deliver very original and exciting stories to readers everywhere. 

You can network globally,

or in any capacity for that matter…

This book is part of a very promising series that will appeal to anyone who likes the sci-fi genre in general as well as to those who appreciate a more serious or perhaps deliberate delivery.

Ben begins by driving his story in a way that gives us quick insightful glimpses into the characters and so it feels fast…it definitely skips along.

But in fact, I think this is intentional.

This is only issue #1, and so perhaps this is so that we are equipped with some solid details as quickly as possible, in order that Ben can just as quickly get on with what he feels is really important for us to learn about his story.

I can appreciate that, since the detail Ben does give us,  is straightforward and filled with themes of teamwork and family and is laced with very appropriate and crafty humour.

We like these characters and Ben has done this I feel so that we are invested early.

I’ve not opened my #2 to see if my hunch is right, but I will be going through it soon,  so we shall see.

(I have a feeling)

Ben explains the concept that lies behind EXILIUM very well in his own words :

“…it’s not necessarily another alien invasion story, there is an overarching theme…I hope that the readers appreciate it when the six issue series comes to an end…”

“…what if an alien life force…an intelligent life forms were to visit Earth…not in the traditional sense as invaders…but coming here for help…Saying ‘hey we’ve got this other force…we don’t know who they are, they kicked our butt, they’ve taken over our planet…we don’t know what to do’ type thing…”

That being said, penciler ‘Salo’ Salomon Farias out of Chile brings a real sense of action and a genuine playfulness to the tone and characters he’s been called upon to manifest for our delight.

I can’t really say much at all, those who are already familiar with ‘Salo’s work know perfectly well –

The lines speak for themselves. 

When asked what he thought of his penciler, Ben Slabak himself said –

“ just happened that he was available and I’m very happy he was because I think he’s done an absolutely amazing job on Exilium.”

As you can see from the large sequence of EXILIUM panels above, as far as color goes;   

we have to travel across another pond here on the Atlantic side of the world –

where we will find Marc Sintes on the Balaric Islands; not far from Barcelona. 

Marc uses a very broad range of colours and contrasts with  Salos’ pencils that really make the characters feel unique and engaging. 

I particularly like the complimentary way he’s brought out the vigorousness and spark of Salos’ explosions.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that Peter Simeti has been asking that the bleed be pushed to the edge in the newsprint,

so as to perhaps get some ideas on limits and methods I would posit.

I think it’s great.

And so I’d just like to say that just as with many other Alterna titles that I’ve noticed late this past fall, newsprint has really done justice to Marcs’ work here.

I placed a few panels that I found interesting below for you to get a chance to see what Marc brings to the project.

From England,  letterer HDe places and paces dialog through the panels

in a very  meticulous way.

He keeps our eye moving around the page gracefully, so that we may appreciate the art it’s paired with just that much more.

There were many panels I passed over that I could feel the rumbles and the jolts.

And so, if you aren’t able to see the skills that I’m talking about here by the time you make it to page #5?

Then I am truly sorry for you my friend but there’s no hope for you….

HDe is a great complement to the titles’ group of artists without question, in my opinion. 

As most of you already know, I try not to include any dialog from a titles’ pages here ever – 

if I can help it.  

I don’t do spoiler reviews of books. It defeats the purpose of the book and well….me.  *wink*

I want readers to get these books and discover the stories for themselves.

I like pencil and ink work here, to showcase what’s coming.

Most especially on a project such as EXILIUM.

But, I can say that I especially appreciate the style that HDe has brought to the work here,

along with the placement and quite frankly – the designs of his effects and the like.

It really feels as if it’s contoured to fit the story very nicely, I guess you could say.

And so, as usual you’ll have to trust my opinion on the way HDes’ lettering adds

realism and highlights the dynamism of the mag, which it most certainly does. 

For me in any case, EXILIUM is truly one of Alternas’ top titles for 2018

and if you are new to Alterna and haven’t decided whether you should take the plunge;

it is among the very best examples from this years picks.

EXILIUM will certainly help you get a real feel for how hard they work at Alterna Comics

to bring that much more value to comic book readers everywhere.

EXILIUM helps deliver this. 

I’m sure that you will agree.

Thanks to Peter and all the great folks @ALTERNACOMICS that help to bring such interesting and varied tales to the stands for our reading pleasure…



Mike Rogers

Cryo-ed GenXer. Collector of Edwardian era books and histories. Copper and Dark Age comic collector. Confused and irritated resident of the 21st Century madhouse. Resident observer and collaborator on Indie-Sphere happenings. Need some help on a project or perhaps some exposure here ? DM @60Recce