Writer: Chad Allen
Illustration: Paco Allen
Story: Chad and Paco Allen
Back in the early double O’s, people like Scott McCloud were openly wondering aloud what kind of great things could you do with comics when combined with the Internet. For what McCloud meant by that please check out his own online work “My Obsession With Chess” where he does things with form and structure that you just can’t do with a traditional comic book. But has there been a great Work of Art that has been created online?
My nominee for online “Watchmen” would have to be “NYC2123: Dayender”. You can still read it for free online here. This was designed for the PSP so you’re reading it one panel at a time but its still very effective. In fact, some of it looks and feels like animation if you click on fast enough. There are even flashes of color like in “Sin City” which makes it even cooler somehow.
What I like about NYC2123 is its intellectual rigor. I think my one complaint about Aldebaran is that it skimped on the computer evolution. One reason why that might have happened is that the writer may not have been up to that particular challenge. Not so with Chad Allen, the writer of NYC2123. I mean, if you’re not going to get around to William Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” (a great read) anytime soon then I would recommend this online series as an apt replacement in the meantime.
Just chockful of interesting science fiction ideas. We’re in a world where high end Internet users have neural implants. Where open source drugs have been outlawed. Where there are consequences to global warming as we find that New York is encased in a giant wall of concrete, presumably not to be swamped by the rising flood waters. I think the rule here is one science fictional idea per panel. Here are some samples.
And what kind of mods do hipsters get? How about this:
Highly recommended. 4.5 stars. It is a bit demanding. But if you’re into the Charlie Stross, Greg Egan, Neal Stephenson advanced degree needed kind of science fiction then you can’t go wrong with this series. Just a fully realized surprise that manages to do a lot of things well. Plus, its free. This work is so good you’re depressed that these guys haven’t been given an opportunity in comics to do more work although it looks like they’ve migrated to more profitable video games. Definitely check it out.
Related: I liked the art but I don’t think that this was actually drawn. This feels more like people that were photographed and then Photoshopped again to make it look like a kind of black and white comics. I think this is true because the credits page lists people. I presume that these are people that the artist took photos of and then altered.
Just for fun I used some photos of my editor (possibly a bad idea) to show you how this could work. I combined elements of the above story with an old yet brilliant comic book series called “Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children“. It also reflects the ending of this much much better science fiction story by Paolo Bacigalupi. I might send this to Warren Ellis with Dan’s permission. I used Paint.net which is a free utility…
Words, Art and “Colour Work”: Philip Shropshire
Dan: portrayed by Dan Morrill
Girl: Portrayed by a girl.
Donald the Duck: Portrayed by a Duck.