DownCast is a young adult, action/adventure/sci-fi fantasy/thriller, series about the adventures of siblings Joanne and Jax living in Strata, a floating city.
Joanne and her brother Jax are on the run from a corrupt government when the power to control gravity falls into their hands. With their father held captive and sentenced to death, can they use this legendary and incredibly powerful weapon to save him before it’s too late?
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The story is written by Clint Stoker, illustrated by Ignacio Lazaro, colored by Damián Peñalba, and lettered by Eric Weathers. The editors on the collection one version were Brandon Crowther, Christina Lynn, Stephany Stoker, and Von Klaus. The editors of Volume 3 are Christina Lynn and Stephany Stoker.
DownCast Collection One and DownCast Volume 3: Submerged both have spot glossy softcover and were signed on the first page. They were published in 2021 by Clint Stoker Publishing. LLC. The structure of the book is excellent.
Collection one consists of Volume 1 and volume 2 covering issues #1 through #4. First, you have a presentation page, an index page, a team’s description, dividers for each issue with a very simple design, the main story, 4 cover art pages, and an ad for the next volume. The book has more than 100 pages.
Volume 3 which consists of issues #5 and #6 has approximately 80 pages. The structure consists of a first page with a letter from the writer giving insights into how the series was made and what it means to him. Followed by a Thank you page with all the names of the backers of the crowdfunding campaign and the main story with dividers. Followed by a page showing the art of the art contest winner. And finalizing with a short backstory about the diver written by Clint Stoker and Damián Peñalba. Both books have a printed spine. The books are almost perfect, in my opinion, they just missed the numbering of pages.
I initially got the individual issues #1 through Issue #5 from Alterna which are 32 pages in full color printed on traditional old newspaper-like material, stapled in floppy format. I got these with Issue #5 of TinselTown but I did not read them right away. Later on, I found out that softcover versions were available on another campaign from the writer, so I got those: Collection one and Volume 3. Then I learned that the writer has an online store with all versions of his books.
Life in the floating city of STRATA isn’t easy for Joanne and her brother Jax. They work any job they can to pay their father’s way out of a prison sentence he doesn’t deserve. When the power to control gravity becomes theirs for a day, Joanne has the plan to get back at the current system that has torn apart their family. A series of events unfold exposing the long-lived corruption in the city.
VOLUME 3: SUBMERGED
As the story continues in volume 3, life is finally normal for Joanne and Jax. The tragedies of their past begin to fade as they each work at new apprenticeships. Joanne works as an intern at a newspaper and Jax at an auto repair shop. But their peace is suddenly shattered when a strange diver, called Monstro, comes to Strata looking for war with the gods. Joanne and Jax are forced to choose between their new lives or joining the diver on his hunt for false gods- a course that would permanently disrupt the future of humanity. What will they choose?
DownCast is an interesting science fiction series. The first story ark spread across volume 1 and volume 2 covering issues #1 through #4. It’s a story about a power source that controls gravity like the city. And a group of believers, the bad guys in the story, that want to get the power source at any cost. Their belief in their goddess reminds me of the trio following Sephiroth in the movie Final Fantasy 7. They had a strong belief in their nonexistent mother “Jenova” and did whatever they thought would make her “happy”.
Further, I like to concept of family in the story. The siblings remain together and supported each other and never forgot about their father. Volume 3 interestingly explores the topic of false gods, something that is very thriving in Western countries, more specifically in Hollywood. The mystery of Strata and how the city came about also comes up but remains to be unfolded in upcoming issues. I also liked the short backstory of Monstro that explains how he became who he is now.
As previously mentioned I got the Alterna DownCast issues #1 through #5 with Issue #6 of Tinseltown which were part of the Alterna Comics Spring 2022 pre-order crowdfunding campaign. I found the Softcover books through Clint Stoker’s Dracula crowdfunding campaign which had a $1 tier option where you could get previous products that were not part of the main campaign. Why go to so much trouble? Well, I prefer hardcovers and softcovers if they are available.
I also love the Alterna floppy versions because they are affordable for the youth and those with a limited budget, and I can very easily make a reference to their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns and their website because they have proven to be trustworthy. They deliver and encourage their artist to deliver at the same standard. On top of that, they bundle up all your stuff for you. In my case, it can be a headache at customs to manage multiple packages especially when I don’t have the tracking number. I wish there would be hardcover and softcover versions for more of Alterna’s published comics such as Tinseltown.
When I found the softcover versions of Clint Stoker’s Dracula campaign it was an easy decision. I didn’t back the main campaign because at the time I was not interested in Dracula’s story. The tracking number was provided through the Indiegogo and the package arrived in perfect condition.
The DownCast series, so far with Collection One and Volume 3, was an interesting read with 2 engaging story arcs. The art is different yet interesting to look at. The great thing about this series is the various formats that are available for you to read the story. I like that the DownCast series has all these options. It sets an example of how to reach more readers.
You have the individual affordable floppy issues published by Alterna which I highly recommend sharing with your friends. Physical and digital copies of issues are available at the Alterna online store. And you also have the softcover graphic novel issues published by the creator that is printed on a higher-quality paper. The main difference between the two is that you will find more stories
Overall, I enjoyed the DownCast series and look forward to the continuation of the story in Volume 4 which is coming soon.
Interested in more titles? Check the latest publications from the “EYES ON” series wherein I documented my experience with crowdfunding campaigns and shared my notes on the products I received:
My notes are all set. Let me know what you think.
See you on the next page!