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Hollowspine

I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Lovecraft, meet the Matrix.

The Squidder - Ben Templesmith

Squidder is about an alien invasion of Earth, it's similar to the Matrix in that these aliens transform humans (only young women it seems) into vessels for their own squiddy conquest using nanotechnology.  

 

This is a great example of how literate comics really are, they are not just about images of superheroes flying across the pages, spewing puns or bad jokes and getting into fisticuffs.  There is a lot going on in this comic and to understand it, readers must focus, not on the lady with tentacle horns, but on the verbose and frequent text bubbles.

 

The basic plot is very archetypal.  Our hero is the last of his kind, a cybernetic soldier created to combat the alien threat, but then once the war was over, left to seed.  Hired as a mercenary he takes on a job to retrieve a stolen girl from a gang.  Once he does rescue her, he realizes that she belongs to the squid cult, she was once a Priestess of the Squid, though she has escaped and now fights against the Dark Father.

 

The art is dark and subdued, with lots of sketchy bits and goopy looking tentacles everywhere.  Perhaps not my favorite, but the style fits this story, creating a run-down squamous post-apocalyptic world, which to me combined technological elements of the Matrix (the squid creatures reminded me a lot of the Sentinels in the Matrix) and the Great Old Ones of H.P. Lovecraft.

 

Oh yeah, and there is this completely bizarre scene leads the Squidder - a dude who lives in a completely bizarro world - to say, "Okay, now I've seen everything."  In that scene I was reminded a bit of Utena...only apocalyptic?  You know, with blood and gore instead of sparkles and roses.  Anyway, it was weird.

 

I also really liked the women of this story, who seemed to be a pretty strong lot, Tentacle Priestess or not.

 

I'd recommend this to fans of Lovecraft, also horror gamers will enjoy the gore, as long as reading a lot isn't a turn off, since this one is no short flip-through comic.