The Surrogates is a graphic novel that postulates a world in which we live vicariously through simulacra of ourselves to which we are connected cybernetically. Safe at home, we can work dangerous jobs without fear. A fireman’s surrogate can dash into a flaming building to rescue its inhabitants without any fear of his actual body suffering damage. Someone walking down the sidewalk need not fear falling objects, or an out of control car lurching onto that sidewalk. If an accident occurs, only the surrogate will be damaged. Its human operator will remain, safe and sound, at home.
In this world, surrogates have become big business – an overwhelming majority of United States citizens either own a surrogate outright, or are buying one on credit terms. This is the world that writer Robert Venditti and artist Brett Weldele have created. On the surface, it seems like an ideal world – once dangerous jobs are now no riskier than doing a crossword puzzle; sexually transmitted diseases no longer bar us from experimenting as we please. Even vanity is swerved – one’s surrogate can be specifically ordered to represent an idealized image of oneself.
Continue reading GRAPHIC NOVEL: The Surrogates: How Can There Be Human Contact In a World of Surrogates?
Following some, yes, extraordinary adventures, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman [still led by Mina Murray – no thanks to Sean Connery…] have moved with the times in this, the first chapter of a six-part graphic novel. Captain Nemo is dying and his rebellious daughter, Janni, has run off to find a life for herself on land; Murray and Allan Quartermain have been joined in their unusual pursuits by gentleman thief A.J. Raffles, the omnisexual immortal, Orlando and Thomas Carnacki, Ghost Finder.
Carnacki’s frequently clairvoyant nightmares have the group on edge because of an apocalypse that may – or may not – be centered on Kings Crossing. Apparently a dead man and a suspected Jack [the Jack!] could play a role. And what is a Moonchild – and how do you make one? As Mina and her team of adventurers seek aid from a man bound to London, but not to time, and Sherlock Holmes’ smarter, fatter brother, a Brechtian lyric winds through the tale adding its own macabre mood as it springs from the lips of several different people – but always in sequence.
Continue reading GRAPHIC NOVEL: With Century: 1910 Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill Bring The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Into a Frightening New Century!