Cassie’s Septagon Studios Review: ARCHEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS VOLUME 1: THE RESISTANCE
Published: February 22, 2012 - 10:53am
Baltimo and Alix are stuck on the No Destination Train, fighting Mechanization, a religiously driven government mandate forcing humanity to replace anything organic in their body with robotics. As with all good dystopias, our heroes become part of the Resistance, and strive to bring about a return to the natural with the government fighting them every step of the way.
There is a lot of plot pervading the narrative of this series, which is fine with me because I love a good premise. In this dystopian future, the government forces individuals to become robots, saying it is the will of the Gods. There is no separation of church and state in this foreign world. If a civilian does not conform to these demands, they are taken to a sinister place called Saint Peter, made completely mechanical and then scrapped. This is particularly painful because once mechanized the Third Law comes into play, which makes the individual fight for self-preservation above all else.
Things take a turn for the strange when Alix and Baltimo meet a man name Samuel, who convinces them to leave the No Destination Train and find a man called the Hermit, who will help them continue to stay as organic as possible and fight Mechanization. This whole section brings in the question of choice versus pre-determination. Society has been brought up to believe their destinies may only be given to them by the Gods, therefore those on the No Destination Train live there because the Gods have not yet told them their purpose in life. The people in this society believe they have no free will, but Samuel argues that perhaps their choice to leave/stay isn’t free will, but rather fate acting inside the person and convincing them it's choice. As I said, there's a lot going on in this series.
In addition to the premise, Archeologists of Shadows has some original, beautiful artwork. It is achieved with a combination of digital art, sculpture, and photography. After reading the comic for the content I highly recommend taking a closer look at Patricio Clarey’s characters and the world they inhabit, partially because it’s made up of components of the world around us and partially because it’s so damn gorgeous.
To further highlight the Mechanization Process, besides turning humans into walking appliances through his artwork, everything in the cityscape from animals (robot cats and roosters) to signs depicted as bar codes reflects this artificial world. Even the frames around the panels are bracketed pipes to bring this theme into the creative process itself.
Despite being over 100 pages long, only the first sixty pages are dedicated to the actual comic, the rest are devoted to the making of the artwork and a preview into Volume 2, Once a Nightmare. The art sections are particularly intriguing due to the way in which Clarey creates his multi-layered artwork. For example, Baltimo’s chest is made of an electric razor, the robot that waits on them has a showerhead for a skull, and the farmer robot has a brillo pad beard. Talk about a virtual scavenger hunt.
It is incredibly easy to support this indie comic, which has been four years in the making. That’s a lot of love and time for something that only costs $0.99, and you can instantly receive this original series on your digital device from Septagon Studios. Supporting independent comics on the cheap, it’s a win-win situation.
Story: Lara Fuentes
Art: Patricio Clarey
Cover: Patricio Clarey
112 Pages/FC Digital Download
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