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Apollo by Matt Fitch

Apollo (2018)

by Matt Fitch

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Next year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, so expect shitloads of books and TV programmes and documentaries on the subject. There were more than enough for the fortieth anniversary back in 2009. And given how extensively documented Apollo 11, and the entire Apollo programme, was, and has been, documented, you wouldn’t think more books on it were needed… Except when Neil Armstrong died six years ago it was pretty obvious most millennials hadn’t a fucking clue he was. (I suspect this year’s biopic, First Man, will change that, however.) Among all the books we can expect for next year, I would not have thought a graphic novel depiction of the mission was, er, missing. But that’s what Apollo is. And, to be fair, they do a good job. Where necessary they stick to the technical dialogue, but there are a couple of flights of fancy thrown in as well, just to keep it from being dull. I didn’t detect any errors, so Finch, the author, and Baker, the artist, have clearly done their research. (And surely a colourist called Mike Collins can’t be a coincidence?) All things considered, this is not a bad addition to the huge body of work about Apollo 11. ( )
  iansales | Sep 18, 2018 |
A decent but still disappointing retelling of the first manned moon landing. My main objection is the repeated use of dream sequences and hallucinations, a personal pet peeve of mine, I admit, that may not turn off other readers nearly as much.

The art is okay, though telling the astronauts apart in their spacesuits is often impossible without memorizing the seating order or seeing big name labels on their chests. I don't really understand the use of tone throughout to give everything a grainy look. Was this originally intended for black and white production or were the creators invoking the Ben-Day dots printing process of 1960s comic books? Regardless, it just served to make the pages look unnecessarily murky.

I was put off by a fake-out simulation scene that seems to throw a bone to moon landing hoax conspiracy theorists.

More egregiously, I was saddened by the typo in astronaut Gus Grissom's name in the end matter: "Grissolm." That's just highly regrettable copy editing.

Frankly, the highlight of the book was the closing excerpt from John F. Kennedy's famous speech. "We choose to go to the Moon!" That sentence pulled up more emotions in me than anything else in the book. ( )
  villemezbrown | Sep 16, 2018 |
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