I had no idea what to expect when I began reading the first issue of indie comic, Crater City. Writer Michael Ruiz-Unger got in touch and asked me if I’d like to review it – when I agreed, I genuinely didn’t know what I was letting myself in for.

Set in the mid-90s, Crater City is the story of teenager Jodi, whose unconventional family are well known for being slightly unusual, in a place which is itself a bit of an oddity. Founded within a meteor impact crater, the titular city has a few local legends – including one sparked by a mysteriously missing piece of the meteor which helped form the crater – and regularly attracts gaggles of alien-obsessed tourists. Yet even though it’s already a fairly unusual place, Jodi is about to find out that there’s still a lot more to Crater City than meets the eye…

I massively enjoyed Crater City; right from the opening sequence, Ruiz-Unger builds an incredibly intriguing, layered and off-kilter setting for its strange tale. Marko Djeska’s art is phenomenal; Crater City is formatted in a fairly unique landscape orientation, making great use of its space (pun unintended) to showcase its environment, as well as some stunning action sequences later on in the issue.

There’s a great otherworldly ambience to the town and its inhabitants; Jodi has the sense of not-quite-fitting-in that many teenagers feel, but it is of course for a very good reason in Crater City. Though the issue starts out as a very nicely written slice-of-life drama, by the end it has become so much more, though I have no intention of spoiling the story here.

To say that I was blown away by the superb writing, clever worldbuilding – even the 90s references are nicely woven into the environment, especially in Jodi’s bedroom – great characterisation and phenomenal art in Crater City #1 is an understatement.

Even though this issue isn’t even on sale yet, I can’t wait to revisit the story, the city and its characters in future instalments.

Crater City will be launching its Kickstarter campaign towards the end of May 2023; you can register your interest at this link.

Many thanks to Michael Ruiz-Unger for providing me with a copy of Crater City #1 for review purposes.

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