Memetic #1 (2014)
Creator/Writer: James Tynion IV
Illustrator/Covers: Eryk Donovan
Colors: Adam Guzowski
Letters: Steve Wands
I had NO clue what this was going to be about. It was confident enough to put a hypnotic sloth on the cover and therefore it deserved a shot. The price point is $4.99 but much like Death Vigil, it is oversized and doesn't have any ads until after the story and extras are finished. The extras include the Facebook page of the main character as well as an inside look into the world and characters of Memetic by the writer and artist.
What's this book about?! Here's the elevator pitch: A college student named Aaron is trying to apologize to his boyfriend for a mistake he made but his boyfriend isn't responding. Then a meme pops up on one of his social media feeds of a smiling sloth giving a thumbs up in front of a hypnotic circle pattern. Soon after, he notices everyone talking about the meme and how great it makes them feel. The fad soon goes beyond his college campus to the rest of the country, and then the rest of the world. Everyone is enamored and the meme gets branded the Good Times Sloth. The good times are swiftly interupted, when those who were enjoying the sloth become violent... and extremely deadly.
I like the way James Tynion IV accurately depicts social media and texts in this title as well as how how much everyone uses the internet. It adds a level of believability, as does the way he appropriately writes college student and the problems they face (crazy people aside). Most impressive is how he built up the excitement of the meme so much, only for civilization to quickly erupt into fear. All in all the story is very captivating and produces a whole mess of questions and mystery.
Eryk Donovan has a very sketchy art style that fits this story very well. The Good Times Sloth is definitely mesmerizing and makes the reader curious immediately, which is good because he's (or she's) in this book a LOT. Once everything hits the fan, the "memefected" (you like that? I made it up) are drawn with wide eyes and demented expressions on their pained faces. They look sick and threatening in all the right ways. Before disaster strikes, the environments are drawn to be very normal and serene. However, in an early "flashforward" you see that the environment becomes just as bleak and frightening as the people inhabiting characters. Obvious shout out to Adam Guzowski for sealing the deal of this drastic transformation.
James Tynion IV's Memetic deals with the sensitive subject of our connection (and perhaps reliance) to the internet. Tynion IV, Donovan, and the rest of the team work well together to make a story that ends up being pretty freaky. They take something everyone sees so much of these days and TOTALLY turn it on it's head. The first issue is intriguing and stuffed full of information that will make you want to read the next 2 issues of this mini (3 total) to see just how much worse it can get. The whole team works well together to make a story that ends up being pretty freaky.
"I can haz Memetic?"