"Time on Ice" is a free short comic from Dead Canary Comics that will eventually feature in the publisher's upcoming sci-fi anthology. A tight, grim little story by writer C.S. Baker and artist Vincenzo Sansone, "Time on Ice" offers a Twilight Zone-worthy twist, and bodes well for the quality of the overall anthology when it happens.

The protagonist is James Handle, a convict at the very end of serving fifteen years for a hit-and-run that resulted in a man's death. But he's not doing his time in a regular Earthbound prison. In fact, just where this prison is located is the central mystery of the comic. Somewhere cold, to be sure. So cold everyone's breath is visible, and prisoners take pills to make them feel warm. There also might be a coal mine underneath, where the worst prisoners toil non-stop. The guards are faceless soldiers in sci fi armor. It's not at all the sort of place you want to end up after panicking in the wake of a traffic accident.

There's something special about a great short comic. For the first few decades that comic books existed as a medium, it was a common thing to create a whole scifi world in six or eight pages. Really great creators could flesh out just enough detail for the tale they want to tell, and then let that world collapse by the story's end.

Baker and Sansone achieve that same feat here, although the world they create is a much grayer, grimmer one that you'd be like to find in the pages of Planet Comics or Mystery in Space.

Thanks to Dead Canary Comics, we present the entirety of "Time on Ice" below:



You can learn more about Dead Canary Comics at the publisher's website.