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Utopiates Perfect Paperback – August 21, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Comics is a stormy, dangerous coastline, shallow and sharp, but UTOPIATES stands like a lighthouse guiding you to the safe harbor where smart, intense comics still exist... - --Phil Hester (Fringe, Swamp Thing)
It's great a when a new talent can emerge and breathe new life into a genre. Cyber-punk is probably my favorite flavor of science fiction, for these are stories not about aliens or space travel, or the what-ifs beyond time and space, but are stories just one step ahead of our current technology (and in some cases our science has caught up with our fiction). Utopiates is part Strange Days, part A Scanner Darkly , with a touch of The Matrix's sensibilities thrown in for good measure.
In Utopiates we are faced with the possibility of engineered pharmaceuticals, and the lengths to which people will go to acquire the feelings and experiences that life did not offer us. Issue #1 is an excellent introduction into the Dystopian world that Finney and Rocha have created for us, but hang on for issues #2 & #3, because that's when the ride starts to really get good! Noirish, gritty and tragic, Utopiates is like rediscovering something you never knew. - --Previews Magazine, Staff Pick
Admittedly inspired by the works of Gibson, Dick, and Welsh, Utopiates mixes the swirling abyss of addiction with the cyberpunk leanings of drug-obsessed futurist writers. The first-person narration is classic cybernoir, and the digital black and white art lends this dark story a unique flair. Creators Josh Finney and Kat Rocha are to be commended for diving into familiar waters and coming up with something new. It s well worth your time to check out - --Newsarama.com
About the Author
Author, illustrator, old school cyberpunk, Josh Finney creator of the sci-fi war epic, TITANIUM RAIN, and the biotech noir tale, UTOPIATES. He has had several short stories published and is in the process of completing my first prose novel. Josh is also known his work on Batman Giant-Sized #1 title and concept art for Star Trek: Enterprise.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cyberpunk is back.
If you were a fan of Bladerunner or Ghost in the Shell, then Utopiates is going to resonate with you. It's one of the few examples of cyberpunk I've read in recent memory that embraces the "punk" side of "cyberpunk". It's got the ethos down pat, railing against authority and embracing the strength of people working together more than going with a "hey look at all this cool tech" approach.
Check it out if you're a fan of cyberpunk in any respect. You will have a blast.
"Utopiates" harkens back to film noir in it's lighting of the characters against an almost entirely black field. As a reader you become the detective investigating, interviewing suspicious characters and drawn in by a mysterious beauty. Even if the comic seems to use the language of film noir it is not one of those crass "graphic novels" put together to woo a movie deal. No, this is a comic book first and foremost by creators with an obvious love of the medium.
There are several nods toward "alternative" subculture depicted by some the hairstyles and band t-shirts which give a certain anti-authoritarian flavor to the story. However, further along in the book this is turned on it's head as we follow a characters who are perhaps complicit with the oppressors. This sharp departure and dichotomy serves to expand the world and breathe life into the characters. "Utopiates" is a satisfying and fresh cyberpunk story that is a gorgeous and compelling read.
Utopiates is a series of stories, all focusing (in some way) of 'trying to find self' - and of the high costs involved, in either finding oneself, or losing self. It's smart, full of references and quotes and little world-building phrases that make the world feel just as real as the Voight-Kampf test in Blade Runner, but it is not Blade Runner. The femme fatale really is a fatal fog on the edges of these stories, constantly there but not always recognized, and always a danger.
For those who love Snow Crash, or love different comics full of heart (there are PTSD representations, violence, different sexualities, different looks... but there's a heart to this, even with the edges) PLEASE do yourself the pleasure of getting this. Or ask your local store to carry it.
The four interconnected stories contained in this short volume are densely layered. It seeks to provoke questions instead of giving answers. Kat & Josh examine the necessity for war against the dream of peace, and the prevalence of a corporatocracy within a meritocracy. If Philip K. Dick and Robert A. Heinlein ever did jam pieces, this is the kind of work they would produce.
Great work you guys!
So that was the action vs talking ratio as I remember it. For anything else, I'd like to refer to the "Editorial Reviews" section, since those reviews seem to do a good job of describing and praising Utopiates.