Fun, witty, and pretty damn strange.
Impossible Space Tales of The Last Pit Stop is a webcomic about a man named Alan Grissom who has the misfortune of making his living working at a convenience store. If you’ve seen the movie Clerks, you get the gist of the mundane activities working at such a place entails.
But while the only thing to make the mundane activities in Clerks enjoyable to watch is the witty and hilarious dialogue and character profiles, The Last Pit Stop shakes things up by adding a nice twist to that formula. You see, while a typical convenience store sees patrons buying lottery tickets and old rubbery hot dogs, this particular pit stop caters to a different kind of clientele.
You guessed it—aliens. This series is called Impossible SPACE Tales From The Last Pit Stop because it takes place in Area 51—which just so happens to be the place aliens stop before flying off to their real destination. Think of the last gas station for 50 miles trope used in movies and take it up to a cosmic scale. A pretty fun and original idea I must say.
I think this series really shines for the exact reasons why I love the Clerks movies; the witty banter between the characters and the strange quirks each character brings to the story as a whole. This is especially true for all the characters who work together at the store. Many of whom just happen to be weird aliens themselves. This brings about very entertaining exchanges throughout the series—with one of my favorites being the introduction of the nerdy new hire, Gilbert, in the second issue.
This series is also interesting from a creator aspect. Mr. Nokes has done pretty much everything on this series himself with the art, writing, publishing, and marketing. No small feat for what is up to an 11 out of 12 issue series as of now. Unfortunately, doing all that work solo does come with some downsides.
What I noticed right off the bat are some minor inconsistencies with the story and or writing—mainly being the very first page of the first issue. The protagonist is introduced as Alan Sheppard, but the name is later changed to Alan Grissom (see first picture at the top). This was probably due to changing the character’s name later on and not remembering he was already introduced at the beginning with a different name. There were also some instances where I felt things were overwritten—such as having dialogue too long or unnatural sounding. On the plus side, these kinds of errors aren’t prevalent throughout the series. Just the occasional slip-up. Now let’s move on.
The art in this series is also very unique, and you can definitely tell it improves with each new issue. Whenever you see this art style, you immediately know it’s the work of Dan Nokes. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you. Personally, I think the art fits perfectly with the self-deprecating protagonist and overall writing structure of the series.
Even with some of the occasional writing errors, this is still a very solid comic series. I would like to see some color pages or colored splash panels. I also think it would be interesting to see Mr. Nokes write a more mainstream comic series story arc with the aid of some professional comic book artists. I think if he didn’t have so much to do and could simply focus on the writing, he’d be able to really reach that next level as a creator. But you know what?
This webcomic is FREE! So, you really have to give it up to the guy for putting in so much effort into something he isn’t generating any money from. I definitely recommend giving this series a read. You really don’t have anything to lose.
I’m giving Impossible Space Tales Of The Last Pit Stop…
3 Out Of 5 Whiskey Shots
Writing and art by Dan Nokes
Check out and read the series for free at 21st Century Sandshark Studios