02 August 2005

Transmetropolitan vol. 1- "Back on the Street"

(I chose this book to start since I feel that it has been most successful at converting my friends into new readers.)

This book collects the first 3 issues of Warren Ellis' & Darick Robertson's groundbreaking science-fiction comic, published from 1997 to 2002. I used to describe it to people as "Hunter S. Thompson living in the world of Blade Runner," but that description doesn't really do it justice. It follows a misanthropic, drug-addicted journalist/author named Spider Jerusalem, who has returned to a futuristic American metropolis known only as The City, where there is a large division between the rich and the poor, genetic and cybernetic self-modification are popular among the youth, television is full of hardcore sex and violence, and politicians are power-hungry sociopaths who care more for power than the people. The more things change...
This book is actually my least favorite in the series, but that's because the series just got better and better as it went on, building to an explosive climax, and a quiet, beautiful epilogue. Still, it does an excellent job setting the tone for the rest of the series. Ellis' writing is sharp, caustic, and frightfully precognitive, as our world is becoming more and more like The City with each passing day. Darick Robertson's pencil work is highly detailed, and he excels at bringing The City to life.

Recommended for: Fans of William Gibson and/or Hunter S. Thompson; science-fiction fans; people who like sex, drugs, violence, and profanity.
Not Recommended for: Devoutly religious people; people who are apathetic about politics.

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