A beguiling universe: Dive into the mystery and wonder of The Constellation Chronicle

(cover art courtesy Emma Egan)

 

SNAPSHOT
After a research team tasked with mapping the outer system goes missing and a strange artefact is recovered, the star system of La Sillia is plunged into a series of conflicts and struggles as they attempt to forge a new destiny amongst the stars. This sci-fi epic follows key figures from an alliance of planets as they come to terms with what it means to gain what you want and lose everything you love.

The Constellation Chronicle, the impressively ambitious, artistically-rich and narratively-engrossing new webcomic series from the mysteriously-named team Emevsa – reflecting the first names of its creators Emi, SJ and Evie – is everything you could ask for from a sprawling space opera.

Telling stories that cross intergalactic space and dive in and out of multiple dimensions, it’s an intelligent, funny and insightful look at the many ways people grapple with the burden of responsibility as life progresses, and how this struggle brings with it both triumph and misfortune.

It’s the story of life really, and it’s realised with rich, immersive artwork, a narrative that slips between the everyday and the mystical with ease, and some snappy dialogue that brings the interactions between the various characters to engaging life.

As an inveterate consumer of science fiction generally, and space operas such as those by Peter F Hamilton in particular, my standards are pretty high when it comes to sprawling, grandiose sci-fi epics set in a galaxy from our own.

They must be expansively imaginative but also rooted in every day concerns and realities; they don’t have to be human concerns necessarily as long as they have some ring of authenticity about them. I need to care about these people, regardless of whether they are rocketing about space in sleek, silver spaceships or hauling goods across a desert planet to meet a subsistence existence.

In pretty much every respect, The Constellation Chronicle meets these expectations and surpasses them, delivering up a clever, engaging excursion into the deepest reaches of space, the supernatural and the human psyche (with some wry good humour thrown in for good measure).

 

Page 1 (artwork courtesy Emma Egan)

 

The series also meets one of the key requirements for any story, something that big Hollywood blockbusters often forget to their peril, which is memorable, fully-fleshed out characters.

It honestly doesn’t matter how good a narrative is, or how many captivating, thrilling twists and turns it has, if it fails to draw its momentum and life from the characters themselves.

Throw in all the plot points you want but if the characters are inert, featureless tropes, it will begin to look like so many rollercoaster thrills and not much else.

The Constellation Chronicle, pretty much from the get-go, delivers up characters that make sense – their concerns are real, their personalities clearly evident, with the dynamics between them going a long way to power a story that is as much angst-ridden and real, in the best possible way, as it is mysterious and engrossing.

So without further ado, and a fair degree of fanfare (there’s royalty involved, after all), here are some of the people who make this comic series such a compelling piece of storytelling. (Being a grand and epic space opera, these characters are just some of the engaging people you’ll quickly want to spend as much time with as possible.)

George – The Prince of Roses
The heir to the Throne of the Alliance, Prince George Van Hohestaufen is universally beloved about the court. Many have great expectations upon his father’s retirement, hailing that he will lead them to an even brighter future. If only George would allow himself to believe them.

Gabe – The Prince of Thorns
Gabriel was born heir-apparent to Lord and Lady Ven Morganstern during the coldest winter ever recorded on the Planet, Eurybia. Groomed to outwit the game that is court politics, he became both hated and admired, detested and desired, the very embodiment of contradicting ideals. You’ll never know what his true motives are but he’ll be sure to let you think you do.

Johan – The carefree Duke
Having lived amongst the shadows of the court throughout his childhood, Johan had little a care about the goings-on of the Van Hohenstaufen family. It was not until his father was brought back into the fold upon his brother, Marcello Van Hohenstaufen’s coronation as King, was Johan forced to begin taking his responsibility as a nobleman within the higher court more seriously; not that he does.

Amelia – Daughter of the Amos
Princess Amelia Mercurio Ganymedea is an intimidating figure amongst the court on her planet. Surviving a near fatal fall to the bottom of the thundering chasm of the Amos waterfall, Amelia was rebuilt, leaving her detached from those she dearly loved. Despite her stern appearance, she commands fierce loyalty from her supporters, her strong sense of duty having helped guide the planet Ganymede into an age of prosperity.

Meris – The pragmatic Charbydian
With a high level of commitment and success, Meris has risen through the ranks of Charybdis’s military, becoming the Captain of the First Legion. With the fall of the monarchy and the introduction of the military council, Meris’ rise demonstrated that anyone could ascend to greatness through hard work, actively rebuilding her society, instead of simply living in it. Despite her outward patriotism, Meris is pragmatic at heart; ensuring that regardless of the situation she, and those she is loyal to, will always remain ahead.

Ava – The last monarch of Galene
Galene is falling, its population decimated by disease, the ruling class swallowed by the earth, now trapped in ice. In spite of her status as the last monarch, Ava has little left to rule. In spite of this, Ava knows all civilisations fall only to rise again, even brighter than before.

 

Page 2 (artwork courtesy Emma Egan)

 

So what’s the cost for all this creative goodness, these rich characters and this captivating storyline?

Nothing amazingly.

However, you can help fund this amazing labour of love by becoming a Patreon supporter of illustrator and colourist Emi, full-time writer and aspiring fantasy novelist SJ and political scientist-to be and writer of rich, original stories Evie, helping them in the process to bring more adventures alive in The Constellation Chronicles universe.

Patreon is a cool idea, allowing consumers of pop culture such as yours truly, to directly fund the work of people they admire, ensuring that the creators get to keep doing what they do so well and we, eager pop culture consumers, can continue to immerse ourselves in it.

The team behind The Constellation Chronicle are clearly aiming to make the most of it if this statement on their Patreon page is any guide:

“We want to really bring you quality content as we expand the La Sillia universe. The Emevsa team already has a plethora of stories, art and resources planned and we want to share our progress with you, the community, by offering them as extras. We need the support to help us deliver them. This is also the platform on which we want to develop and foster a positive community with you, our patrons – with your support, we can take the time needed for extra artwork, podcasts, speed drawings and more so that we can grow this story and a sense of creativity with as many people as we can!”

So win, win all around … and in another galaxy no less.

And of course, make sure you follow this intrepid team on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr where every step of their star-studded excursion into the intriguing world of La Silla will be on beguiling display for your viewing pleasure.

 

More of the rich, beautifully-rendered artwork that, along with first-class writing and a gripping narrative, make this such a compelling read (artwork courtesy Emma Egan)

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