Book Review: Apollo Unbound by Chris Kelso

“A bizzaro twilight zone episode played out on the page.”

Apollo Unbound is a thirty-six page comic penned by the super talented Chris Kelso, featuring fantastic illustrations by Jim Agpalza that brings the tale to life. By the end of reading the comic, both of these gentlemen will be on your watch list…if they aren’t already.

Apollo Calloway is an award winning mega super star actor and philanthropist who awakens one day to find he is in a place he doesn’t remember traveling to. He peers out the window into what appears to be some kind of post disaster ghetto. He steps outside and is first accosted by two women arguing in a language he can only describe as some sort of distorted English. In his confusion he tries to recall how he got there but to no avail. He has traveled the world doing charity work but he doesn’t recognize the strange place. He soon comes to find out that he is in Ayrshire, Scotland yet he still has no idea how he came to be there. He’s befriended by a guy named Larry and after spending weeks there it makes you wonder if Apollo is who claimed to be at all. Ayshire is run by a council who send Apollo a letter naming him an Undesirable because he’s a foreigner and unemployed. Their punishment for being branded as such is quite brutal and makes Apollo take his anger and confusion to the streets where his acting skills come in handy when he tries speaking out against this unknown council and their judgment. The crowd places the blame on Apollo’s only friend, Larry. There the confused and lost actor learns the horrors of mob mentality and how deadly finger pointing and speculation can become.

The artwork is top-notch and really shows Jim Agpalza’s dedication to his work in bringing the author’s imagination to life. The story is bizarre, brutal, and yet hits close to home on subjects happening all around us, involving the dangers of being an outsider and getting branded as an undesirable. It’s a very quick read yet also quite satisfying like a bizzaro twilight zone episode played out on the page. It has a touch of dark humor in the form of an omnipresent narrator who gets on Apollo’s nerves and a cast of other miscreants who rabidly attack any and all who break the laws of the council of Ayrshire. It’s dark and odd, like a strange nightmare, but packs a punch that will leave the audience hoping for Kelso and Agplaza to team up for more mayhem. Grab this one for your commute or a wait in the doctor’s office, those are both hell but the story of Apollo Calloway will definitely take your mind for a joyride it will never forget.

Apollo Unbound was released by Luna Press Publishing, a Scottish independent press and home of speculative fiction and academia. They’ve published an array of very talented writers of fiction and nonfiction and have showcased some very stunning artists. Here’s hoping for many more years of success to them and many more enjoyable stories. Apollo Unbound displays a talent for words and illustration. It shows the kinship between the two mediums and how magical it is when talents from both fields come together to create something so special. Pick up Apollo Unbound and find yourself awakening in the grey desolation of Ayrshire, just pray that you’re not found to be undesirable.

MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: Luna Press Publishing
Paperback: (36pps)
Release date: 18 November 2017

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