Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Decadence #7

By Leon Sadler, Lando, Daniel Swan, Tsemberlidis, Jon Chandler, Dan Hallett, and Alex Payne

While there are a number of different comics artists in this anthology, my two favourite are the ones whose releases from Decadence Comics I've read before.

Tsemberlidis (who drew the cover) creates another of his bizarre, beautiful, silent comics. The story (as much as there is one) is about an astronaut who lands on a seemingly abandoned barren planet. He wanders alone amongst rocks and mountains until he encounters a geometric object and the story starts getting weird (as many of Tsemberlidis' stories do). People start shape changing and bizarre shapes start emerging from foreheads, eyes, and penises. The ending is reminiscent to 2001: A Space Odyssey, both in what actually happens and that I have no idea what it means.

But none of that matters because I love Tsemberlidis' art. His pages are filled with tiny lines and details that somehow manage to add so much to the characters and their backgrounds. Mostly I'm just glad I don't have to touch anything that appears in the comic, because it all looks incredibly disgusting. Technology seems to be encrusted with the remnants of something, while his nature scenes can mange to exude a feeling of humidity and dampness.

At times this reminded me a little of Tsutomu Nihei' Blame, but mostly in that they're both about a silent adventurer wandering through bizarre, incredibly detailed backgrounds.

Lando's comic (see below) is part two of an ongoing story about a guy living on an abandoned island with a bunch of robots. This story seems seems to be more about showing what parts of the island are like, and how they robots act and react to certain things the main character does.

The main character is riding his bicycle, while accompanied by a robot. He goes on a different route than the robot tells him to go on, and almost dies. The robots of the island end up saving him and helping him afterwards. The story raises a lot of questions and makes me curious about what's going on. Who is this guy? Why is he on the island? What's with all the cyborg implants? Is he even human?

The art and themes remind me of Japanese science fiction like Akira or Ghost in the Shell, not so much in how the characters look, but rather the designs of the setting and pages. I think Lando does a good job of pacing the cycling, changing angles to create some cool visuals, and managing to convey the speed of the character. I also love seeing the strange architecture in the background, which makes me even more curious about this island and what was happening on it.

While I didn't like the other stories in this comic as much as these two they do feature some cool visuals. But, for me at least, the selling point of this anthology are the two comics I wrote about, and they both deliver exactly what I wanted.

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