Dust to Dust

The comics App on the iPad is called Comics (clever that) and comes from a distributor called Comixology. It doesn’t yet support all of the publishers in their paper catalog. In particular it is missing DC and Vertigo. However, there is a lot you can buy. Marvel is there, and Dark Horse has just signed up, which means you can get Grandville. That looks absolutely awesome.

The comic I want to talk about here, however, comes from another smaller publisher, BOOM!. The title is Dust to Dust, billed as a prequel to their adaptation of Phil Dick’s Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep. The writer is Chris Roberson. You can get a free sample on the iPad, but Chris has kindly sent me a copy of issue #1, so here’s a quick review.

The term “prequel” is probably a bit of a misnomer. What Dust to Dust appears to be is an independent comic series that is set in the world of DADOES and uses similar themes, but is not about the same characters. Those of you who enjoy debating the meaning of scenes in Blade Runner will be disappointed that Charlie Victor, the android hunter in the story, admits up front to being an android himself. On the other hand, those of you who hate movie adaptations of books will enjoy the fact that Chris appears to be making good use of Mercerism and other aspects of the novel.

Robert Adler’s art is appropriately dark and cyberpunky. The story is set in San Francisco and issue #1 includes several locations that I am very familiar with. Even BART gets a few panels.

One thing that is very clear from the opening issue is that it has been written by someone who knows his science fiction. It feels right, from a genre point of view. Chris has also tried to give it an modern feel by have the major viewpoint character, Dr. Samantha Wu, think in Twitter posts. Limiting yourself to 140 characters is a useful discipline for thought bubbles.

Chris has done enough set-up in #1 to get me wanting to know how things will develop in future issues. And, because I’ll be able to order them on the iPad, I will be able to do so as issues come out. When DC and Vertigo finally sign up and I can also follow Fables, Cinderella and iZombie, plus Paul Cornell’s run on Action Comics, I shall be very happy. And my bank manager will be very worried.

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