lasvegasweekly.com thinks Jack Chick would not approve
Our book has made it to the city of sin! ;)
January 31, 2008
By J. Caleb Mozzocco [personal blog]
When a huge swath of the world's population suddenly rises bodily into the sky, disappearing into the heavens, it's popularly assumed that the Rapture has occurred, and that those Christians who believed in it were right all along. Writer Jim Munroe and artist Salgood Sam's new graphic novel Therefore Repent! (IDW Publishing) is set in this post-Rapture world, focusing on those who are--ahem--left behind.
I hear there's a real market for books about people left behind.
[max:Rimshot! ba-tish! he he.]
Munroe and Sam's leads are a weird-looking couple who answer to the names Mummy and Raven; he wraps himself in gauze bandages like a mummy, and she wears a raven mask that covers her whole head. A half-hearted reason for this is given at one-point-they were at a Burning Man-like arts festival when the Rapture happened, and kept their costumes on from then on to commemorate the event-but I think they just make for more interesting character designs for Sam to draw dressed like that.
[max: well yes and no, they are more interesting like that, but...]
We follow them as they arrive in Chicago and try to start a new life there. Writer Munroe seems to have grossly overestimated the number of Christians who actually believe in a physical Rapture, as Chicago is apparently depopulated to the point where there are plenty of nice apartments around for squatting purposes.
[max: true, but for fiction, it depends on who's numbers you use when you start out on your literalists' take on the idea ;) ]
The existential questions such an apocalyptic situation would raise are built into the setting, often in rather incidental ways (the press conference in which the president offers a rationale for why he's still on Earth is amusing), and hang over the narrative, an unspoken conflict informing all the other conflicts.
Among these are the one between Raven and Mummy, whose love for each other was tested in a way that is a testament to its incredible strength, but also leaves a lingering resentment.
In their new neighborhood, they seem to quickly be drifting apart and are soon on the verge of breaking up. Apparently, the Rapture was only the beginning of the weird things going on, as dogs begin talking, magic becomes real and fairly easy to practice and squadrons of angels patrol the cities machine-gunning down sinners.
The story is rather oddly paced, turning from a serious slice of post-apocalyptic life focusing on a sprawling cast into something of a fantasy action piece in the second to last chapter, but it has a few killer twists at the end that turn the whole story on its head, and seem well worth waiting for (one twist, in particular, forgives what seems like lazy research at certain points).
Sam's highly textured black-and-white art serves the script well, and he's able to sell people mutated by magic just as easily as the everyday feel of bars, shops and street corners.
And hey, isn't it nice to see a comic book about the end of the world that doesn't involve zombies?
Not bad, not bad at all and if his blog post is any indication we got him thinking so that's cool. The "lazy research" was kind of the point on our behalf, but i think he got our intention in the end. Hate to disappoint him though, there are a few zombies in the story. :)
posted by max at 2/01/2008 08:54:00 AM