Matrix Magazine Review of THEREFORE REPENT!
The full text is now online here, and added to my big ol' virtual scrap book on my blog. :)
I like this Vincent guy, will have to track him down and get him a drink...
THEREFORE REPENT! A Post-Rapture Graphic Novel
by Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam
in [ Reviewed in Matrix 80 ]
Read by Vincent Tinguely
The glory of science fiction and fantasy is the "what if?" factor. In Therefore Repent!, the authors gleefully explore one deceptively simple premise: "What if the Rapture actually happened?"
The graphic novel has a fairly obscure geneology, beginning with a comic book originally conceived as the invention of a couple of characters in his previous (non-graphic) novel, An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil. A 24-page comic was conceived and written by Munroe, rendered by Michel Lacombe, and posted online. Having invented the post-Rapture scenario for this project, Munroe was interested in pursuing an expanded narrative about the comic book characters, Raven and Mummy, and the strange world they find themselves in. When Munroe was ready to go ahead with Therefore Repent!, Lacombe was no longer available to do the graphics, but Salgood Sam, who'd collaborated previously with Munroe on other small projects, was eager to take on the task.
The result is a sumptuous feast for the eyes (all in black and white), and a pleasingly complex plot that takes its sweet time in unfolding. Munroe lends the fantastic notion of the Rapture a believable texture by introducing the no-less fantastic "reality" of earthly magic, telepathy, transmigration of souls, inner visions, shape-shifting, prestidigitation, and talking dogs. In a sense, he's taking on a very real anxiety - that the most powerful military industrial complex on earth is currently controlled by people who believe in fundamentalist quackery - and proposes that the power of such a belief system isn't as monolithic and indestructable as it might sometimes seem.
Salgood Sam's drawing skills never flag over the epic sweep of the tale, and he feels free to try any number of innovative framing and sequencing techniques. The characters, bizarre as they might seem - a woman with a bird head and a man who goes about wrapped in bandages like a mummy - become fully-rounded in the course of the story, and even the minor characters feel believable to the reader. The result is a spectacular graphic novel, full of angels, demons and unclassifiable creatures, with a brainy subtext that never interferes with the fun.
posted by max at 11/11/2008 02:56:00 AM