Saturday, April 7, 2018

Analog #1 - Review

The Analog Kid

Written by: Gerry Duggan
Art by: David O'Sullivan
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy

Analog. The hipster motto. Yep, there's now a book that's perfect for those who only read books as Penguin classic paperbacks, while listening to Serge Gainsbourg vinyl smoking Gauloises. "Abandon digital!" they will cry from their smoke-filled booths while swirling their Beaujolais. Oooh, they will coo, now we are really getting the depth of Je T'aime through the crackly grooves of this vinyl, pass me the Johnny Hallyday LPs. Now let us read you this passage of Jean Paul Satre. "Hell is other people" you know. Ooh la la Jean Paul! Monsieur Werner, he agree with you!  Where was I, oh yeah, Analog - it's a comic!

This is actually a life-changing book for me, literally. I'll explain why after a brief explanation of the concept of the book. The pitch is that five years from now the security of the internet has been totally destroyed. Secrets are no longer sent over the web, they're entrusted to armed couriers called "Ledger Men," like human punching-bag Jack McGinnis. The societal split is between those who still wish to have secrecy and those who disregard it and have abandoned the idea of secrecy, living all aspects of their life in the open for all to see.

The best scene in the issue is when Jack McGinnis is in a fully analog bar, no digital devices allowed. (side note: that is my now idea of perfection having stood at a concert the other month watching practically everyone in attendance videoing the concert on their phones instead of watching live music with their eyes). The bar tender in this scene is my kinda guy - "get out" he admonishes a kid that comes in brandishing his digital technology. I miss sitting in the bar without people sitting on their phones. I also miss people smoking in bars. Oh, sorry, keep getting off message - the comic!

This is a really great book, an interesting story, a great concept, and although set in the near future after the cloud has been hacked (side note: I read the other day about a tech job called a "cloud architect" doesn't that sound like a lovely job? Oh yeah - the comic!) this book really has a gumshoe 1940's feel about it. Jack McGinnis is just a great character that I've already fallen in love with. The colors are divine, and its so impressive to think about the sheer flexibility of Jordie Bellaire given the contrasting style of her work on Days of Hate also on Image's current roster. I'm in love with this book - the second stellar book I have read from Image this week alone (the other is Isola).

(Long side note: For those interested as to how this book changed my life, I was contemplating that bar scene and got nostalgic for the 1990s when I remember things being less internet based (if not actually analog - CDs are my vinyl baby). Anyway, in a bout of nostalgia I worked out how long I was spending on my phone each day via an app, and seeing the results in horror, deleted all my social media presence - I have to say it's been a blessing.)

Bits and Pieces

I loved this issue, loved the world it created, the scenario it set and the characters it gave us. A wise guy lead with fast shooting skills and a grumpy dad, and a great cliffhanger for issue 2. That coupled with splendid art and fine coloring work. A great start to the series.


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