Tuesday, 19 September 2006

What lies beneath: Victim 12 & Schism

If you read slice of life strips you probably won't like this dystopic excursion, I find that most of the better webcomics I've been reading have either been mangae styled or come from a genre fiction background. Here are two examples of cyberpunk's contingent online:

Victim 12 is an examination of memory loss and underlying conspiracies, there's not much there yet but it looks like a narrative that's ready for the long haul, there's not much action as of yet but the narrative is a stand-off between two varying forces. This is a classic conspiracy theory/dystopic narrative that bodes well to my perverse sensibilities.

The artwork is mangaesque but not noticeably so and the lightness of the line work is a welcome change to a lot of the heavy-handed inky sludge online. The background to the story is also relatively profuse, a good sign in a comic-verse of piss-poor background management. We haven't really delved beneath the intro but it's showy enough to keep you coming back for more.

Schism is a different kettle of fish altogether, the story is far more attuned to the regularities of everyday life, but underneath it all of this a mystery. This is quite a dense strip in terms of the background information delivered and its primary aim is to distil a sense of paranoia in the reader. It has gathered together much more of an archive and there is far more use of personal background present here in this dystopic harsh realism.

If you're so inclined you'll find hints of the Matrix series here but it's clearly more of an old school cyberpunk anti-authoritarian narrative. The use of colour is clever, it isn't overbearing, more of a bruised smear than a bright intensity, more chiaroscuro than pastel blandness. I like the intent shown here and the sensibility that mixes family and corporate mismanagement together, an enthralling read.

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