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The Surrogates (Surrogates (Graphic Novels)) Paperback – September 12, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891830872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891830877
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.6 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The year is 2054, and the Central Georgia Metropolis is held in a grip of fear by a series of crimes committed by the mysterious lightning-wielding techno-terrorist dubbed Steeplejack. His attacks stem from an agenda that seeks to disconnect humanity from its dependence on "surrogates," androids that the consumer can link with and allow to carry out the user's life, acting as a full-time stand-in. For investigating detective Harvey Greer, Steeplejack's anti-surrogate rampage unearths possible connections to a fanatical prophet. Years earlier, this prophet incited riots while preaching a gospel of returning society to a time when people actually lived their lives instead of merely experiencing them, a point of view that Greer is slowly coming to agree with. Basically a straight police procedural laced with science-fiction trappings, Venditti's script offers a convincing future in which mankind doesn't realize that the virtual reality of the surrogates is potentially worse than any narcotic. This quietly bleak scenario is capably illustrated by Weldele in a straightforward style reminiscent of film storyboards. As a change of pace from typical superheroic fare, this volume comes heartily recommended. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 2054, everybody in the Central Georgia Metropolis who can afford one owns a surrogate to go out and do things while its owner transmits all the decisions and receives all the effects safely at home. But someone or something is frying surrogates with megavolt electrical charges, and police lieutenant Harvey Greer has to find out who or what. The prime suspect is the Prophet, the quasi-Rastafarian leader of a cult that rioted against the surrogates 15 years ago. It soon seems, however, that the actual, physical perp is a supersurrogate, and the Prophet wouldn't ever use any kind of surrogate. Venditti fills this police-procedural sf scenario with tech-savvy-sounding dialogue and serious satire of humanity's love of gadgets, ingeniously supplying backstory via documents (academic paper, TV transcript, etc.), not flashbacks or exposition. Weldele gives the tale exceptional gravitas by drawing figures and settings more or less sketchily and memorably conveying emotional effect by tinting each scene or sequence in its own peculiar set of hues of just one or two colors. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Robert Venditti is the New York Times best-selling author of "The Homeland Directive" and the sci-fi graphic novel series "The Surrogates", the first installment of which was adapted into a feature film starring Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames. He currently writes the ongoing monthly comic book series "X-O Manowar", "Green Lantern", and "The Flash". His debut children's novel, "Miles Taylor and the Golden Cape: Attack of the Alien Horde", is due from Simon & Schuster in May 2015.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Ottinger III on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Life...Only Better," says the slogan of VSI, maker of surrogates. And who wouldn't want to improve their life, to make it better, or to make it what they had always dreamed it should be? Such is the basis for the science fiction graphic novel The Surrogates. Written by Robert Venditti, with art direction by Brett Weldele, this novel brings a unique take on the established rules of science fiction.

The future world created by Venditti has a great deal of potential. In creating the concept of the surrogate, Venditti has shown that even when race and gender are no longer factors in decisions, our innate prejudices still rise to the top. Additionally, remove race and gender as social factors, and you are left with religion. While the religion in The Surrogates is extreme and cultic Christianity, it could just has easily have been any other religion's fanatics. For the location and time frame of the story, Christianity makes the most sense.

I also found it daring to set the story in Georgia rather than the traditional big cities of New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. Those cities have been used often, their unique cultures explored through science fiction. Science fiction has failed to tap into the strange and unique culture that is the Southern States. In doing so, The Surrogates has broken new ground. The story has found ample material for evaluating existing culture, and challenging our preconceptions.

The Surrogates is a fine graphic novel, and I hope that Venditti continues to write in this world. I recommend this book to all science fiction fans, cultural theorists, and comic book fans. The artwork is provocative, the story compelling, and the setting unique.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, The Surrogates (Top Shelf, 2006)

It is by now a Hollywood cliché, not to mention a Hollywood truism, that the book is better than the movie. And that is certainly the case where The Surrogates is concerned. That said, in some ironic way, reading Robert Venditti's original source material gave me a slightly greater respect for Jonathan Mostow's bloated, listless adaptation. I can see why he made the changes he made, and some of them I actually agree with. (The two big ones, as it turns out, were direct contributors to the movie's downfall, to the point where I may actually go back and revise my review to include a discussion of them.)

If you saw the movie trailers, you've got a basic idea, but I'll give you a rundown anyway: it's 2054, and the world is populated by human beings who live vicariously through androids known as surrogates. The human flops down in a chair, puts on a headset, and bam, virtual reality. Surrogates work for their owners (allowing the out-of-shape to be construction workers, say), drink and do drugs for their owners (all the sensation with none of the withdrawal symptoms), have illicit affairs for their owners, etc. You get the idea. 92% of the world's humans, we're told, own and use surrogates. The rest are not too happy with this. In the metro Atlanta area where the book takes place, the head of the non-surrogate-using humans, known as the Dreads, is The Prophet, a mover and shaker in the anti-surrogate riots of 2039 who eventually agreed with the mayor of Atlanta that he and his Luddite pals needed to move out of Atlanta to a reservation seventy miles away.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Digital Puer on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Surrogates is an excellent science fiction short story that happens to be a graphic novel. The plot is compelling with a well-crafted premise that extends traditional "cyberspace" works (such as the worlds created by William Gibson and P.K. Dick, as well as The Matrix), but this new space is a virtual reality based on remotely-controlled androids. The author touches on issues related race, religion, and what it means to "live" as a human. Every dialog line is well-written, and both the protagonists and antagonists are believable and worthy of empathy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Better than the movie and also a better ending that feels right for the tone. The advertisements for surrogates and the like really help mold the story. Based on a popular graphic novel. Artwork is dark and mysterious. There's a section in back about how to write a scene for a comic book as well. WHEN READ: September 2010; MY GRADE: B to B plus (not for non comic book fans).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gayle on May 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was in interesting story, and I could definitely see something like this happening in the near future. The plot reminded me a bit of the movie I, Robot, but was by no means a copycat. Set in 2054, people have stopped living their lives, and instead live their lives via Surrogates. I also really liked the layout and design of the graphic novel itself. In between chapters, there is documentation giving more background on the future world, and Surrogates' role in it.

A friend once asked me for an example of a graphic novel that is also a great piece of literature, and I would say that The Surrogates exemplifies this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Palmatier on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I decided to buy and read "The Surrogates" because, of course, the movie was coming out soon and it had Bruce Willis in it, and I've lately been drawn into the graphic novel universe. So I said, why not? I've read a few other graphic novels and the concepts presented in this one were interesting.

First off, the graphic novel is significantly different from the movie, so you should probably read it even if you have already seen the movie. It starts off with the same initial setup--some surries get zapped and detectives are there to investigate--but pretty much from that moment on it diverges from the movie. Characters are the same, but they don't do what they did in the movie, tec. So read the novel, it's worth it.

The storyline is definitely interesting and pulls you along, weaving the actual detective work together with the life of the main detective, Greer. You find out about his relationship with his wife and how the introduction of the surrogates--androids that the user controls and that pretty much act out everyone's daily life for safety reasons--has altered society and interpersonal relationships to a huge extent. The main idea of the surrogates is what kept me interested in the novel, although the plotline about who's zapping surrogates and why also drew me in. The ramifications on every aspect of society if we did ever reach a point where the majority of the population lived their lives through surrogates is . . . astounding. And that's why this graphic novel rocks.

It's also why it's slightly disappointing. There are so many aspects of life that would change that what was presented in the novel seemed . . . limited.
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