Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ancestor TP

I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting into before I opened Ancestor. I only knew that I had a great love for the artwork and that's simply because I've been following the work of Malachi Ward for some time now. I became a fan after a particular issue of Prophet written by Brandon Graham, for which you all know by now, I've greatly praised. Ward had lent his talents to the series as so many great indie artists have over the last few years. Ward's particular style fit into the series amazingly and sat comfortably next to the work of Simon Roy. It was then that I started following his work via facebook and twitter, then recently again through the Image Comics magazine Island.

For Ancestor, Ward has teamed up with Matt Sheean. The two are both credited with writing and illustrating the above mentioned comics AND this one. I was lucky enough to talk to Ward for a video interview. Keep your eyes peeled for the video this week for full information on the process of creating Ancestor and more creator secrets!

So what do I think of Ancestor? That's the real question here. The whole story was a pretty big shock. When you consume the amount of comics I do, it's hard not to feel like everything is just a rehashing of something else you've already read. However, I actually got some big shocked moments reading this trade. Originally this was a serial within the Island magazine so this is my first read through of the entire story and I really appreciated being able to read the collected edition. I've said before how so many stories do so much better when binge-read however, this is one of those stories that could keep you interested as a serial. Where the story begins and where it ends is a complete 180. What starts off as feeling like a story in a not so distant future, ends up as an existential mind fuck.

SPOILERS !!

The story does create some really interesting new technology including a system which is essentially a 24/7 cerebral plug-in to the internet. Wireless of course *wink* And this system allows people to control anxiety by being able to access information about EVERYTHING they encounter 100% of the time. Our main characters who happen to be artists are invited to a party of which they really know nothing about. The requirement for attendance is to unplug. Turn off the system. This causes people to feel incredibly uneasy for a time but that's nothing compared to the uneasiness they'll experience when they're taken to a special room which basically becomes a killing floor. It's here things get really interesting. The panels and killing floor does remind me somewhat of that movie Circle but instead of everyone nominating and choosing who should die next, it's just one megalomaniac making the kill decisions.

This story is rooted in science fiction however, not horror but it does contain some violence at this point of the story. It's important to note that most of the violence is implied and there isn't a lot of gratuitous gore, however this is an adult book full of adult topics and would be miles over the head of even most teenagers. I would not recommend this story for people younger than 15.

All this happens in the first two halves of the story but it's the last two chapter which will get to you. I think that's where the spoilers from me have to stop. Needless to say, you can't possibly guess where this is going. The story is not remotely predictable and that's why I'm not telling you!

The complete Ancestor story is currently available as a trade paper from Image Comics. You can purchase it online easily from Amazon if you can't find it elsewhere but remember to support your local comic book stores!