For the past few days the comics internet has been abuzz with the news out of the 2015 Image Expo, but there's something that was announced at last year's that I'm every bit as excited for as the new batch: Southern Cross, the new sci-fi horror comic from writer-artist Becky Cloonan, artist Andy Belanger, and colorist Shari Chankhamma.

Originally announced at Image Expo 2014, Southern Cross is set for release in March, and to get people excited, Cloonan and Belanger have been posting designs from the series on a Tumblr dedicated to the comic -- and clearly, it's working, largely because they are awesome.

I mean, just check out Belanger's amazingly detailed design for the title spaceship and try telling me it doesn't look rad.


Southern Cross, Image Comics


According to interviews, the design for the ship was inspired not necessarily by science fiction, but by modern oil tankers and cruise ships, reinforcing the book's focus on what's essentially an interplanetary oil company:

Cloonan: The idea is that the ship is an oil tanker -- we're still looking for oil and in an oil based economy -- and Titan is one of Saturn's moons that's very oil rich. It's become sort of a refinery moon. The ship that they're in, the Southern Cross, is a tanker. It's very reminiscent of large boats. Scientifically it might not be cool, but visually it looks awesome to see this old tanker floating around in space.

Belanger: It's kind of like an insane oil tanker/ocean liner/Chris Fosse-style spaceship.

Cloonan: When we started talking about the plot and when we started writing it more, it was clear that it was inspired by Agatha Christie novels. I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to have this crazy old boat flying through space, just cutting right through it?" I guess a spaceship can be any shape, since it exists in a vacuum.

Belanger: I think the actual design of the ship, because it does have the look of a cruise liner, gives it that old-timey feel while at the same time being futuristic.

He's even done designs from different angles:


Southern Cross, Image Comics


The Tumblr also features character designs by Cloonan, and while those are awesome, I've always been a complete sucker for blueprints and cutaways of buildings and vehicles from my favorite comics. The level of detail that Belanger is putting into his designs speaks pretty well for how much preparation has gone into Southern Cross over the past two years, and makes me look forward to it even more than I already was.

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