Are You There, God? It's Me, J.C.: A Look into the Graphic Novelization of The God Project

 

The God Project 1Parents worry. A very short sentence, but one that rings true everytime. Parents are always concerned about the well being of their children, be they 5 or 50. This is the main ingredient in the stew that is John Saul's novel, The God Project. Written in 1982, Saul was interestingly prolific about his use of technology in his novel, technology that has come to exist on one level or another.  The story of the death and disappearance of children, parental woe and inquiry, cover-ups, subterfuge, and medical miracles are what make up this story . . . so far. This is based on the graphic novelization published by Bluewater Comics, written by David McIntee, based on the work of John Saul, and penciled by Federico De Luca.


Taking place in Eastbury, Mass., a benign hamlet that is, on the surface at least, inhabited by families that remind you more of the Waltons rather than the Mansons. One family is heartbroken over the abrupt death of their baby due to SIDS, while a mother is becoming more and more concerned about the whereabouts of her tween son as each second on the clock ticks by. Desperation leads each family to take measures beyond what they would have earlier in their lives considered irrational in the search for answers.

Translated from the foreign language that was '80s dialogue, McIntee has taken it upon himself to ground this story in a more relevant (and believable) context. An internet that reminds one less of Matthew Broderick putting a landline telephone on a cradle modem and more along the lines of Facebook and flat screen monitors. Cell phones not attached to briefcases and able to do things more than just dial a number, a number you had to, wait for it . . . remember. Based on that alone, it's difficult to conjecture if McIntee is merely making it more contemporary or if there is going to be a creative license taken more akin to that of Johnathan Nolan.

The artwork of De Luca is an interesting juxtaposition. Both sophomoric and simplistically beautiful at once. From one perspective it can come across as a piece well executed by a high school student that creates wonderful pieces, but hasn't yet mastered his craft. Another perspective might say that it is both subtle and a creative use of cross hatching, blending, and lighting reminiscent of early Steve Ditko. At times De Luca makes you work for it, visually speaking. A few of the panels don't just slap you in the face with content, they make you take more than a cursory glance to appreciate and understand the correlation between context and content.

For the past 30 years, there has been an interesting divergence of readers over The God Project. In other words, kids, you either love it or you hate it. Don't take it from me, take it from yourselves to decide how you feel about it. Either way, keep reading. It does a body good.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 13 January 2018 06:00

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