Septagon Studios’ Archaeologists of Shadows, Vol. 1: Resistance is a beautifully rendered digital graphic novel with a deep storyline. The story’s got steampunk elements, but I also got a Blade Runner, dystopian feel as I read it (and was gratified to read, in the notes at the end of the book, that these elements were among the author’s influences). Society’s moving toward a more mechanical existence and the inhabitants are expected to follow suit. Citizens of this world are routinely checked to make sure they’re at the proper stages of the “mechanization process”, and if they’re found to have too many organic pieces, they’re sent to Saint Peter’s – a place we don’t get a glimpse of, but we get the feeling is pretty unpleasant. Anyone who defies the will of the gods – because that’s at the heart of the mechanization edict – and tries to keep their organic bits are hunted down.
Baltimo and Alix are resisting full mechanization; their bodies are also resisting the change. They find themselves on a quest to seek out the Archaeologists, who may have answers – but they find themselves in the middle of something even bigger than they ever could have imagined.
Archaeologists is a heavy book – there’s issues with belief systems, with humanity, and how – and why – technology plays a part in both. I’m interested in learning more about the backstory here – are there still human births? At what point does mechanization start? What started this drive toward total dehumanization – is this a post apocalyptic society? The book brings a lot of questions to mind as I read it, and that’s a good thing. It’s a great discussion-starter.
Let me talk for a second about the art. It’s breathtaking. Whenever I found myself getting muddled in the story – because there are points where it happens, to be completely upfront – I just got lost in the art for a while. Artist Patricio Clarey cites a number of sci fi/fantasy influences, and you can see many of them here. The art evokes an almost dreamlike sensation, with soft, hazy images rooted in the fantastic. Writer Lara Fuentes provides good dialogue between her main characters, but a lot of questions come up as you read – I had to read it twice myself to make sure I had a grasp on what was going on. The good part about that is that I wanted to read it again. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, and I want to see what happens in Volume 2.
Give Archaeologists of Shadows a shot, but know going in that this isn’t a light read. You’re going to think, and you’re going to get lost in the amazing art. Get a bunch of friends together, read it, and talk about it, and let us know what you come up with. It’s a full graphic novel for 99 cents – support an indie and spend a buck!
The book is available for download through Septagon Studios’ website. You can also buy it for your Kindle or Nook, through Apple iBooks, and Google Play. A full list of download sites is available on Septagon’s website (http://aoscomic.septagonstudios.com/about/).
Enjoy some art and the trailer for Archaeologists of Shadows here:
Archaeologists of Shadows, Vol. 1: Resistance
Writer: Lara Fuentes
Art: Patricio Clarey
Retail Price: $0.99