The third (and concluding) installment in Ben Hatke’s ZITA THE SPACEGIRL series of graphic novels comes out this month – May 13th, to be specific. Ben and I were both part of the Flight Comics community, and I remember the Zita shorts he made for FLIGHT as well as seeing some of his early drafts for what would turn out to be the first Zita book.
Ben does a lot of things really well in all his Zita stories, but there is one thing that I love above and beyond everything else. Ben is very, very good at making charming, appealing secondary and tertiary characters. You can see a little of this in the pages I’ve posted above.
As Zita blazes through the galaxy, each of the many characters she encounters ends up being someone you want her to spend more time with. Whether benevolent, benign, or antagonistic, they’re all interesting and appealing, even when – as seen above – superficially they’re nothing more than a pile of rags and a talking skeleton.
All of the books share this quality. If you haven’t picked up books one or two yet, definitely give them a read. They’re chalk full of the best kind of world-building, and book three – THE RETURN OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL – continues the trend. It’s a really solid trilogy jam-packed with imagination. If you have a ten-year-old that you need to buy a gift for, oh you’re welcome I’ve just revealed his/her new favourite book feel free to thank me later.