Birth - TerranBirth is a short morality tale that looks at the folly and consequences of war. It abstracts the process somewhat by setting it on another planet, shared by two alien races that just can’t seem to get along. Tragically, both species are doomed to extinction, one because the females die during childbirth, the other because the male’s don’t survive insemination. The former are aquatic humanoids, the latter live on land. But, despite the absence of apparent territorial issues, they still don’t seem to be able to get along. In fact, trying to apply any kind of logic to the story is pointless, because that’s not really what it’s about – it feels more like an extrapolation of an idea, drawn out into 80 pages, than any real attempt to create a meaningful plot.

Birth - AquanWhile that may sound harsh it’s only part criticism. In fact, what Michael Bracco has created is quite beautiful. His illustration is unique and interesting, and he’s brought the symmetry and the dualism of his two races out in his layouts and his design, as well as the raw illustration. His creation is other-worldly and strange, as a good alien story ought to be.

However, perhaps the vagueness of the plot was just a bit too existential for us. And with a plot that’s more high-concept than ripping-yarn, the superior quality of the illustration wasn’t quite enough to lift it to greater heights.

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