‘Myopia #1:’ Comic Book Review

The list of well-known backers supporting the Kickstarter campaign for Myopia in August 2015 is astounding to see. The expectation for the final product’s success, for those that pledged to the campaign, exponentially increases with signed rewards from Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Dean Koontz, and George R. R. Martin, to name a few.

Now, crafting a good story doesn’t always mean that answers are readily apparent for the reader, and, sometimes, more questions stack upon themselves before anything else comes to pass. Writer and creator Richard Dent brings the sci-fi thriller, Myopia, to his campaign backers - and the rest of the world - as he builds a finely tuned mystery draped in technology and murder. The opening page immediately introduces the reader to the significant advancements in technology, while also laying a cautionary tale of categorical disaster should anything happen to that way of life.

In the midst of a conversation between two friends, one pauses, closes his eyes, and then reopens them with a bright blue glow. In his corneas, a woman appears and speaks to inform him of a cab service that will be arriving shortly. Instantly, you see the major impact technology plays within Myopia. Upon closing his eyes, and having the glow disappear, the second page further introduces the differences between those that embrace such changes and those preferring simpler existences, even if just to “feel the earth under my feet.” There is also a brief discussion about trying to understand the necessity of saying thank you to the automated “she” that provided his taxi.

“I don’t know why I bother saying thank you. It’s not like she’s alive, or a she for that matter.”
“Never forget manners. They are the building blocks of society.”

In a simple exchange, a dichotomy is formed – becoming accustomed to technology and questioning polite manners versus basic, fundamental human kindness. The complexity shown within the first two pages very well represents a discussion of many topics, while leading the reader on a journey to understand what motivates individuals in this story. Along the way, questions begin to form. Are those vehicles hovercrafts? Who is the person trying to gain access in the “Central Lens Network?” And quite possibly the biggest mystery surrounding this stellar first-issue: who committed murder and why?

Artist Patrick Berkenkotter brings this comic book to life, using softer tones of brown, black, gray, and blue overall. This style allows vibrant colors to come to life each time computer screens activate, headlights beam, lightning strikes, and animated eyes blink within these pages. The illustrations move you through the story at a good pace, capturing dramatic sequences of events with varying sized, overlapping panels, while business letters slow your path to indicate political speak and the devastating effects regarding the mining industry. Did the existence of these letters motivate someone to commit a crime? What was trying to be accessed, and what is the Central Lens Network? These intriguing mysteries, and knowing there are more to come, are the reasons readers will want to continue following this futuristic tale.

Myopia Special #1 is a Dynamite® product and available in print and digital form.

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