Bountiful Garden

It is the year 2200. Imagine that the government has a plan to explore a distant planet. The hopes are that it will prove to be a habitable environment for future colonization. To expedite this research, they have recruited some of the brightest minds around. In this case, these highly trained scientists happen to be children. Child prodigies whose high intelligence have been directed to solve the possible problems that may be encountered on a distant planet. Issues such as food reproduction, as well as engineering, architecture, biology, botany and security.

The choice of teenage children was to increase the possibility of survival. If for no other reason than they would live longer than a full grown adult. But what they didn’t plan for was for their explorers to be woken from Cryostasis 10 years earlier than programmed. Nor for them to not arrive at the destination that was pre-programmed in. Ok Kids, welcome to the year 3030.

Ready or Not

All of this is a lot for children to take in. Even those who had basically given up their childhood to be trained for this mission. Regardless of their extreme intelligence, they were still children. Nevertheless, the situation they were in required for them to adapt to whatever their current circumstances were, Children or not. This is the story that writer Ivy Noelle Wier, Artist Kelly Williams, Colorist Giorgio Spalleta and Letterer Justin Birch explores in Bountiful Garden, coming on September 8th to Mad Cave Studios.

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The concept of explorers or astronauts being awoken on a space mission earlier or later than planned is not a new one. One only look at the recent film Passenger written by Screenwriter Jon Spaihts. However, where Madcave and writer Wier changes the narrative is by introducing children into the equation. This twist explores questions of how using children, who while very smart and were trained for this mission, might not be mature enough to deal with these type of stressors. It also might speak of the arrogance of those who initiated this mission that believed nothing would or could go wrong.

This is approached in the beginning of the story as Wier shows how the different children cope with their dilemma. This was very well done and displays an understanding of how different children might react to unprepared for events. Such as who should take the lead in their current circumstances. The fact that they split into teams to tackle the problem gives an indication that while they may have initially been rattled, they are prepared to follow their mission and their training. Resiliency is another childhood trait.

A Must Read

Believe it or not, this is just within the first 15-16 pages. Before they decide to select a team to use a shuttle to explore the planet they are orbiting and investigate it. While leaving another team to assess and repair any systems damaged. Needless to say, Bountiful Garden starts things off with drama from the start and builds from there. Art wise, Kelly Williams along with colorist Giorgio Spalleta gives us a sombre, isolated feel as fitting with the storyline and a watercolor like palette that is extremely well executed. If you like classic Sci-Fi along with an Monster/Horror Vibe, Bountiful Garden will prove to be a must read when it comes out on September 8th from Mad Cave Studios.

Official Synopsis

In the year 2200, a team of teenage scientists are sent on a terraforming mission to a distant planet. They are elected as the best and brightest of their generation. Architect Jonas, botanist Marnie, biologist Jane, engineers Anya and Kamari, and security detail Kurt. All are put into cryostasis, expected to wake up when it is time to prepare to land on their assigned planet. When they are awakened abruptly, ten years early, they are halted above a strange planet.

Now, the teens are tasked with trying to figure out why they’re stalled – or what stalled them. They break into two teams. One tasked with fixing the ship, and the other with exploring the unknown planet below. They’re soon faced with an increasingly nightmarish scenario. One in which they encounter a cosmic horror that seems to not only have attacked their ship, but also their minds..

Creators Thoughts

“In Bountiful Garden, I set out to pay homage to some of my favorite science fiction and horror creators from across the history of the medium, having grown up as a huge fan of these genres. Speaking as a writer, the team of Kelly, Giorgio, and Justin has been an absolute dream – every script I turned in, I was so excited to see how they would run with it and make it even more cosmically creepy than I could have imagined. I think this is a very classic, timeless sort of horror story, and that fans of both horror and sci-fi will find a lot to like here (and plenty of scares!)” – Writer, Ivy Noelle Weir

“When I first came on to Bountiful Garden I was excited for the opportunity to do a Sci-Fi/Horror story. I do a lot of Horror but rarely get to do much Sci-Fi. As the story started coming together and we started seeing the different themes that were being explored, excitement just grew! Ivy did an amazing job getting us connected to the players in such a short amount of time. Giorgio’s color work is amazing. His work improved mine 10 fold. The hardest thing about this book was stopping.” – Artist, Kelly Williams

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