Intergalactic Nemesis has been pegged by its creators as “the first live-action graphic novel.” To what extent this is true I’m not wholly sure; there may be a first time for everything, but there’s nothing new under Great Father Sun, as the saying goes. Regardless, Intergalactic Nemesis looks like something to keep your non-dominant eye trained on, if only for its novelty. It is a pulp-inspired radio play set in 1933 that sees Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan and her “research assistant” Timmy Mendez trotting across the globe to uncover deadly secrets and dismantle an alien invasion. Besides featuring a female lead who sports a male tagalong, this is only of moderate interest; the most intriguing part of Intergalactic Nemesis is its presentation. A troupe of delightfully hammy actors perform the work in person, accompanied by a real pianist, a person providing practical sound effects, and over 1,250 high-res image panels that provide setting and action, basically comic book pages without the word bubbles.
While Intergalactic Nemesis uses comic book imagery as its outward face, it has much more in common with the radio broadcast serials of the ’30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s like Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Gunsmoke by virtue of its production. It could essentially be performed way-back-when without much alteration, unlike Sky Captian and the World of Tomorrow, a film which channels the pulp era’s ideals and aesthetic, but can’t give you an idea of the production techniques that first brought these kinds of stories to life. If comic books are truly the inheritor of the pulp mantle, everything has come full circle.
If you live in Alaska, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, or Illinois, you’re a stop on Intergalactic’s tour list through 2014 and 2015. If you don’t live in any of those states but just happen to a be a citizen of the Internet, you can watch an adapted version of one of the performances below via YouTube.