Ancient Astronauts is a sci-fi fantasy graphic novel written and illustrated by Vincent Pompetti, a classically trained artist from Belgium. The book was first published in France and has been translated into English by Black Panel Press (founded by Andrew Benteau, also the primary translator) whose mission is to bring foreign comics to our attention.
This graphic novel tells the tale of Onys Di Chieti, a young girl who begins her journey on the distant planet Plaine as she becomes involved in the fight against a mysterious force that is invading the planet. She is joined by a shaman called Yulunga and Captain Mark, an accomplished soldier.
First Impressions: The artwork is the first thing that strikes you. It is brilliantly illustrated entirely in hand-painted watercolor, with the characters and scenery beautifully realised. Pompetti spent ten years developing this story and it shows. There is a rich mythos on show that is every bit as interesting as the artwork.
After reading: I found it pretty hard to put this graphic novel down. If you like stories that gently introduce you to universes with a lot of scope for future tales (the follow-up, Constellation is certainly on my to-read list now as I’m looking forward to finding out more about some of the mysteries that were hinted at) then I highly recommend checking this out. The balance between introducing this collection of worlds and telling a great story is just right, where it so easily could have been bogged down by bombarding you with details, the author seems to have a quiet confidence that you will return to find out more.
Ancient Astronauts is available now through Black Panel’s website or can also be found on Amazon. The follow-up is scheduled for a Nov 15th release date.
Check out the trailer from the YouTube channel:
And an extended trailer on Pompetti’s YouTube channel:
Pre-order is already available for the follow-up novel (Constellation) through the website.