Customer Reviews: Creature Tech
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars35
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on May 6, 2003
The art in this book gorgeous. The writing is really bizarre, and mostly hilarious. I read this in one sitting while waiting to catch a flight, and it was one of the most enjoyable reads I've ever had. This was definitely the best comic for my dollar in 2002. The complaint I hear most often about it though, is that it has christian themes. Well, yeah, the shroud of turin is a christian artifact, so by virtue of it being in the story, you'll have some christian themes. On top of that, the main character has faith issues to overcome, but so what? You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy a story about a Christian. It's a well done story, and despite my lack of religious faith, I found it quite enjoyable, and laugh out loud funny.
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VINE VOICEon September 18, 2002
Many people use the term "graphic novel" to describe any book-bound edition of comic-style storytelling, including collections of individual issues from monthly comics. Personally, I prefer to differentiate between these collections and original books, but no matter what definition you use, Doug TenNapel's "Creature Tech" is one of the best graphic novels in years.
The story stars Dr. Michael Ong, a former seminarian who abandoned his faith when he turned to science. Ong is the head of government facility charged with studying and cataloguing supernatural and alien artifacts and technology. What with one thing or another, Ong becomes bonded to a powerful alien symbiote and must use his new abilities to save the world from the ghost of a mad scientist who has a sinister plan involving the Shroud of Turin, a hand that can turn cats into demons, and a giant space eel.
It if sounds silly, that's because the concept really is. TenNapel shows incredible skill, though, in taking elements that could be used to create a weird, slapstick story and injecting it with genuine heart, emotion and action. You feel for Ong, his pastor father, the disfigured girl he used to persecute as a child and even the giant insect assigned to him as a security guard of sorts. Every character in this book has a dash of humor and a healthy dose of humanity that makes this a really great read.
The artwork is clean and effective, and the iconic style doesn't detract from the story at all. If anything, looking at the artwork makes you feel like you're actually reading the storyboards for a really great feature film that just hasn't been animated yet. Hopefully someone will pick up on this and make a movie very soon.
TenNapel also leaves room for a sequel, or even a series, and I for one would welcome it. There's plenty of backstory left to tell and I find myself intensely curious about elements that he alludes to -- even shows in full -- but never really explains. I'll be on the lookout for more work from him in the future.
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on December 24, 2013
If you are like any child in the new generation, chances are, you are not interested in 'reading'. I got this book for my nephews, with the hopes that at the most, they will implement the idea of either reading or writing or artistic interpretation in their own life, and at the least, that they would read it and get a few more words in while holding some interest. Doug seems to be able to capture his audience and hold them well through unique story lines and stylized artistry. Thanks Mr. Tennapel.
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on September 9, 2002
I wanted to title this review "Why everyone with two brain cells to rub together should read this book!", but I guess that is a little lengthy. It is, however, what I think about CREATURE TECH.
CREATURE TECH is a story that is as fun to read as it is difficult to classify. It has elements of science fiction and horror and action and religion and romance (only a little, guys; don't be afraid!) and comedy.... and on and on. And yet, all of these _very_ different elements come together to tell a very engaging and powerful story.
Doug TenNapel writing and art work together to fashion a graphic novel that is unlike anything that I have ever read (which is, in itself, enough to recommend it). CREATURE TECH is a seriously thought-provoking, funny, and memorable work of literature.
Here's hoping that we see MUCH more from Mr. TenNapel in the future....
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on November 18, 2012
Creature Tech is very creative, well drawn and has a good, consistent, well though story. In my opinion it is a second best thing done by Doug Tennapel, right after The Neverhood (video game).
Some may say it's a bit preachy, but I think it can do whatever it wants while it has all those features I've listed in first sentence. It has some Christianity in it but it's just a side of the story which is written in a fun way too. I'm not Christian and I'm totally cool with it.
This comic is entertaining and fun. Go buy it!
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on October 28, 2011
This is the book that made me fall in love with Doug's work. I borrowed this book from a friend and after reading it once I was hooked and went directly out and bought it. This story was so original and fun, mixed with emotion, humor and sadness that it felt like it could and should be a movie. It flowed so well and the characters were all fit their parts perfectly. If you have not read any of Dougs work Do so NOW!
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on July 31, 2015
Wow, so creative! The art is fantastic ink-brush cartooning. Incredibly skillful story takes bizarre twists and turns without every losing my heart or brain. I live close enough to California's central valley to vouch for the authentic valley touches and characters. The theological details (Arthropod heaven for a beloved Mantis bodyguard) are extra-scriptural but the heart of this book is sock solid gold. Good stuff!
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on December 2, 2004
This is one of the freshest, most original graphic novels to hit the market in recent years - and apparently, it is going into its third printing.

Which is great news for anyone who has had trouble getting their hands on this singularly entertaining and thought-provoking piece of work. The comic moments are laugh-out-loud funny, the pensive quiet moments really make you think. The connections between people and how we relate are deftly handled. The art is expressive and evocative, even though it's highly stylized in alot of places.

As for the exploration of Christian faith, I need to stridently disagree with those who felt that the elements were either (a) unnecessary, or (b) forced. For the particular story that TenNapel wanted to tell, these elements were non-separable. The whole point of the narrative was Ong's return to who he really was, not who he decided he should be as a result of youthful rebellion and stubbornness. And the elements were not at all forced - they were elegantly woven in, carefully made a necessary and impactive part of the story. It is not ludicrous for certain scenes to be present, if they're part of the narrative, which they are. For those who find themselves wary of the description of this story as being overly religious or Christian, it's really not.

Where we belong in the world is a question that isn't the property of a single faith. It's part of our story - even if our stories don't include demonic cats, alien symbiotes, and giant praying mantii. ;)

It's hysterically funny and lighthearted when it needs to be, and tender and pensive as well. Definitely worth a read - or 3.
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on May 1, 2012
The writing is snappy, the animation is fun but clear, and the plot is deep enough to feel that there is more under the surface, but you still get enough to satisfy you. I am beyond excited to see if this ever turns into a movie. It was definitely a short read (1-1.5 hours?) But it's a fun, great book and you should definitely treat yourself

PS: About the Christian thing - dude, I'm atheist but you need to realize that faith issues come up in books and movies all time. It was done tastefully, and the story would have been massively lacking without that extra dimension. Don't be offended, just enjoy the darn book.
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on August 12, 2013
My review is of the out-of-print first edition by Top Shelf, the current publisher is Image Comics with a 2nd edition. On my journey of reading TenNapel this title keeps coming up and being referred to as one of (if not the) best of this works, so I must admit my expectations were probably pretty high. I'd also heard this one had high Christian content and one of the things I love about Doug's work is his ability to put his Christianity subtly into his mainstream work. So I'll just come out and say it; this wasn't what I'd built up for myself, not my favourite of his (I'm thinking Gear & Bad Island so far, for myself, though I still have many to go). As to the Christianity, the Shroud of Turin is a big plot point so there are many Christian themes (including
loss of faith and returning to it) but the story is more about a Christian than about Christianity. Gear is much better on this level and so much more subtle. The story itself is major weird and wacky, just as expected from TenNapel. Truly humorous and laugh out loud funny at times. With a cast of characters including a giant slug, a symbiotic alien life form, a deformed love interest, demonic hellcats, a giant space eel, just to name a few, believe me when I say there is never a dull moment. Through all this action Doug never fails to bring his characters to life; there is the lovely Katie, with a deformed hand and eye that Dr. Ong falls in love with, TenNapel's usual father/son relationship is included this time though with Dr. Ong and his aged preacher father, and especially lovable are the redneck "Walmarts": Ed and Al. There are also several sidekick characters who are much more than that with their poignant storylines. Not my favourite TenNapel as many have claimed it to be, but still a great one, as I'm finding out at this point that Doug TenNapel just doesn't know the meaning of mediocrity.
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