Boom Studios 2015
Written by Alex Paknadel
Illustrated by Eric Scott Pfeiffer
Relations between the real world and Arcadia are glacial. President Gomez is determined to make Arcadians more energy-efficient, against their will if necessary. Lee Pepper has illegally made contact with his daughter Coral in Arcadia. He alone has a doppelganger in the simulation: Lee Garner. Death is theoretically impossible in Arcadia, so why is there a corpse in the desert?
I have to say i’m really loving the work Eric is doing on the interiors here. Right off that the look at this house in Arcadia Los Angeles and the people we see it’s just really darn powerful and tells as much of the story as the dialogue does. That we open with Giacomo getting interviewed and the Doctor tells his mother he suffers from being on the Autism spectrum. There’s more than meets the eye though and one look at what he sees when he looks at her yeah that’s almost terrifying.
Well Arcadia really is a fascinating place and most people are there living their lives and trying their best to forget what actually happened to them that they ended up with them living in this simulation. As a reader you sometimes forget that yourself and that’s a credit to Alex’s writing here. Speaking of which Dr. Garner and his friends well it seems that they have some of the best dialogue here. Seriously at least everyone in Arcadia weren’t screened in any way and witty gay men are still witty gay men of some importance.
There’s something unnerving about calling the living the Meat. I have to say though Lee and Melina make a very interesting pair of friends, co-workers he working for her, and having a long history together complicates matters at least according the narration. Then when Lee and Valentin have their conversation hot on the heels of the one with Melina the story deepens and you begin to see a more serious side of the equation. The way this is fleshing out has more piqued my interest and the complexity involved in the various stories that are happening simultaneously throughout the issue at first seemed random but are quickly becoming intertwined in the most unexpected of ways.
I think one of the more fascinating aspects of this story is that we can’t readily indetitfy who the good guys or bad guys are. Who is manipulating whom is a looming question here and while the residents of Arcadia are seemingly fighting for their very survival those on the outside face their own dilemmas about making room enough for all of them and keeping them alive and safe but is that really what they are doing. Are they using the residents of Arcadia to better life on the outside? There is all kinds of shady activity happening all around and just by seeing bits and pieces of it as a reader i’m hooked and have that desire to keep going continuing to learn more about the situations these characters find themselves in. More so than ever with the ending throwing doubt around left and right as to what we’ve read even in this issue so far making this a genre defying story.
This could be the most interesting thing you read this year.