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City of Tomorrow Paperback – February 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Writer/artist Chaykin's latest depiction of the rotting American Dream may be his most bitter yet, but it's also one of his most exciting. Young Tucker Foyle watched his father use nanotechnology to create Columbia, a utopian community served by biomechanical robots. Then he realized what a stifling, monomaniacal vision the place embodied, so he stomped off to explore life. Now, after serving as a clandestine wetwork operative, he returns home to find the robots corrupted, and Columbia even more vile than the rest of the world. He decides he wants to fix this society, even if that means fighting his father, gangs of robot mobsters and the U.S. government. Back in the '80s, Chaykin's American Flagg! showed materialistic, willingly manipulated masses at the mercy of a cynical elite; however, that comic kept its tongue in its cheek, unlike City of Tomorrow's prevalent sneer. Evidently, Americans have been fed too many lies since then to smile easily. Still, this book is full of angry wit, such as a cemetery full of interactive gravestones or the copyright symbol on a robot whore's rump. And Chaykin's art has never been more dynamic, complemented by Michelle Madsen's unusually subtle and vibrant coloring. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Satiric comics creator (American Flagg, 1987) and TV scripter Chaykin mines familiar ground in this tale of a cocky, dashing hero fighting to set aright a near-future dystopia. In billionaire Eli Foyle's crime-free, Norman Rockwellesque Columbia, robotic servants are supposed to keep the peace and otherwise serve their human masters. But a viral worm has turned the robots into gangsters and hookers and transformed Foyle's paradise into a despotic police state. Renegade Navy SEAL Tucker Foyle, Eli's black-sheep son, comes home to save Columbia and reconcile with his father. En route he falls for sexy blond robot Ash Wednesday and learns the unsettling secret behind Columbia's creation. Square-jawed, wisecracking Tucker too strongly resembles previous Chaykin antiheroes from Reuben Flagg to Harry Block in American Century (2001), who are all oversexed, overgrown boys full of swagger and charm. Chaykin's sf noir formula, heavy on macho antics and kinky sex, still works, largely because his stylish artwork, with its distinctive panel layouts and punchy graphics, is so compelling. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Wildstorm (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401209459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401209452
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on August 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Columbia is a sovereign nation, an independent island city created through nanotechnology where the American Dream reaches its fruition through the labors of lifelike, subservient robots. But Tucker Foyle, son of Columbia's creator, grows increasingly disaffected with his father's perfect society and flees to the U.S. mainland, serving for years in a variety of clandestine military operations before returning home to find Columbia changed.

A virus in the system has altered the robots' programming, and they're no longer content to serve. And the "perfect" society has become a front for increasing corruption, gambling, prostitution and murder, all run by robot-led gangs. Tucker vows to fix it all, but his father doesn't prove to be the ally he'd hoped; on the other hand, the pleasure robot Ash Wednesday turns out to be both an ally and romantic partner.

"City of Tomorrow" is a fresh dystopian setting for writer and artist Howard Chaykin's political commentary. The story is fast-paced and action-packed -- and that's its major weakness.

Unfortunately, the action unfolds so quickly that readers never get a solid sense of Chaykin's society, either in Columbia or back in the U.S. of A., where a popular president is planting WMDs on foreign soil to justify a bloody war. Chaykin should have slowed down just a bit, taken some time to explore the utopian Columbia before turning it into its own dark mirror.

With more development, "City of Tomorrow" would be a much more fulfilling place to visit. Chaykin's writing is strong and his art makes it a pleasant visual experience; it's a shame there are so many gaps in its construction.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.NET editor
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Chaykin manages to convey that noir sensibility of everything and everyone (not that they're different, here) being just a bit dirtier than the one before - with our protagonist as bad as any. This has everything: `botstitutes, covert ops trying to hide covert ops, loyalties as thin as the next excuse or as thick as blood (or at least a good grade of machine oil), bottomless magazines in the sidearms, and an atmosphere that oozes sleaze. Best of all, it comes wrapped up in the Chaykin package, of square-jawed men, rounded women, and a visual style that seems to have influenced a generation of graphic artists.

-- wiredweird
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By Stan Shaw on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, I like Chaykin. Not his best, but still good. Reads like a developed film pitch at times. Thank you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jonathan briggs on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Welcome to Howard Chaykin's future, where the women are all big-breasted and braless and the temperature is always about 10 degrees below normal. In this particular variation, Eli Foyle creates a nanotech utopia staffed by androids and pisses off his punk son, Tucker, who misses labor unions or something. Eli's paradise is hacked and infected by a virus that causes the droids to go bad. The guys don zoot suits, and the dolls strap on G-strings. Enter the estranged Tucker, Desert Eagle automag in each fist, to clean up the joint. He fires literally zillions of bullets, occasionally pausing for quickie sex, but never to reload. Chaykin's cheesecake art has always been more of a draw than his sledgehammer satire or third-rate Chandler imitation. "City of Tomorrow!" is 4-star art in the service of a 2-star story, so we'll split the difference.
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