Kagan McLeod broke through the landscape of oft-homogenized mainstream cartooning in 2011 with Infinite Kung Fu, an action-packed graphic novel about a martial arts layman. Rendered in shades of gray, that long-form debut featured lush brushstrokes and soft ink washes. Over the years, McLeod has proven himself a talented, capable artist time and again, most remarkably by adapting Michael K. Williams’ impossible-sounding R. Kelly anecdotes for Vulture.
His most recent project is Kaptara, a space opera produced in collaboration with cartoonist Chip Zdarsky, who jokingly describes it as “Gay Saga.” The comedic ongoing series (tagline: “Space why you gotta be like that?”) concerns a group of astronauts stranded on the titular planet, which is occupied by parodies of ‘80s action figures. Even a cursory glance at Kaptara reveals a multi-faceted gem, defined by expressive faces, a purple and magenta-infused color palette and dynamic body language.