BIN SIFTIN’ with Rene LeClair: SNOWFALL #1 (Image Comics)

Writer/ Joe Harris  Artist/ Martin Morrazo  Colours/ Kelly Fitzpatrick

December 3rd of the week before was the first real snow day in New Brunswick this year.

unnamed9I remember that day because some longtime friends, who also play in an Ottawa punk band call NECK, hopped in a car with their instruments and drove down to Moncton to play the first in a series of shows. That’s a long drive folks, especially when halfway through the trip, it starts to blizzard. These dudes drove for 16 hours straight, the second half of their journey beset by heavy precipitation and fading sunlight. Then, just falling snow, darkness and the road. I mean, it is the east coast of Canada in December. Generally speaking, a person living here wouldn’t think global warming is a thing in this part of the world.

Neck’s goal was to meet up in Moncton with Halifax band, Outtacontroller, play a one-off show at Claude’s House (a wicked all-ages, basement of a house venue run by some awesome folks) and then turn around and head on up to Montreal for another gig. It’s a long drive in normal circumstances let alone in the middle of a snow storm, but they Snowfall #1bmade it safe and sound. Then, they played a wicked set and partied hard. The next day, they were back on the road and the snow has been melting ever since.

It’s a little fortuitous that as this first snowfall happens in my region, a full preview of Snowfall #1 lands in my lap. I have to say that I’m intrigued by this new spate of science fiction that is coming out. I don’t know if it’s because we are finding ourselves in a more socially and environmentally conscious time. Pop culture has forever been obsessed with post nuclear settings and stories, but now it seems like we’re seeing more and more stories with even closer ties to present day questions. Questions such as “What will happen when we all run out of drinking water?” Or “How will we deal with massive population displacement/resettlement when sea levels rise up?”

Scenarios such as those seem very real as of late and evidence appears to indicate that these catastrophic events could happen sooner rather than later if Snowfall #1cnothing is done about it. Snowfall #1 bases its story in this type of scenario.

It’s 2045, ten years after Earth’s environmental collapse. The United States have been partitioned into resettlement zones after failing to prevent the impending climatological crisis. It has been ten years since the last recorded snowfall. As an unsustainable amount of carbon in the atmosphere raised temperature, “climate grew drier, crops withered and populations were put at risk.” War broke out across the planet due to dwindling water supplies and corporations stepped in to help failing governments get back on track.

We follow Anthony Farrow, a student at the Cooperative University For Climatological Research in New Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s got a grudge against the Hazeltyne Corporation backed “Cooperative States of America” and the powers that be. Just the day before, the eco terrorist known only as the White Wizard was believed to be responsible for a “rogue snowfall” so Snowfall #1dpowerful, it leveled a Hazeltyne Corp asset in New Mercy Resettlement. His previous exploits were legendary, but he’s been in hiding for over ten years.

None of this is going to stop Anthony from finding the White Wizard, but he’s not the only one looking for him. Inspector Davitika Deal, Prime Assessor of Climate Crimes Against the Cooperative and “all under its dominion and protection” is convinced that this is the work of Hazeltyne Corp’s public enemy #1 and she will not let him get away this time.

Kids play in the snow left behind by the White Wizard’s destructive weather attack on Hazeltyne’s base, but the media, all Cooperative controlled, portray this enemy of the Cooperative States of America as a remorseless terrorist ready to kill anyone. Doctored footage of decapitated and dismembered children lay amongst the wreckage in New Mercy.

The White Wizard is not impressed. What’s his next move?

Snowfall #1 is out in January, 2016. Meet me here in a few weeks for a look at Snowfall #2.

(Rene LeClair is an avid comic book reader and works at Comic Hunter in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, spreading the word to all who love comics as well.  He is also a fantastic musician who currently plays with a great band called FEAR AGENT.  Rene has been at his music for years, including stints with Longtimers, Four Frames, and the amazing Dead City Rebels.  At the Comic Hunter (Moncton/Charlottetown) they easily have the biggest selection in the Maritimes for all your nerdy needs. They specialize in comic books w/ over 250k back issues, an immense library of graphic novels as well as a seemingly endless selection of board/card games. Whether you find yourself that side of Quebec or not, they’ll ship anywhere. Visit their website and contact them HERE.)