Book Review: The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele

The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele
A few years ago I saw the movie The Surrogates on t.v. As I like SF/dystopia types of stories, this movie appealed to me a lot. I had no idea that it was based on a novel, let alone that it was based on a graphic novel.

But then Trisha at Eclectic/Eccentric held a giveaway in which this book was one of the choices. I entered for this book, and I won!

The Surrogates: What it is about

In 2054, most of us stay at home and use a surrogate, an artificial human being, to live our lives. We’re connected to it, control it, and can feel everything the surrogate feels. It’s safe, we never have to leave our building.

When surrogates are being killed in the middle of the night, two police officers (or more correctly: their surrogates) go on the hunt for the killer. There seems to be a religious group that is against the use of surrogates and they are the first suspects.

After some intelligent research they find out who the killer is and manage to apprehend him. Interestingly, along the way, the surrogate of one of the police officers is damaged and rather than getting a replacement, he decides to leave his house and handle the investigation as himself.

The book I had contained all 5 episodes of this story, that were previously printed separately. It also contained pictures of the original five covers, as well as a discussion on how the book was conceived and the technicalities behind drawing the pictures.The book also contained further full-page pictures of the detectives and of the suspect.

The Surrogates: What I thought

I loved the movie, I liked the book. It is a very interesting concept and the fact that we are connected to the internet so much even now suggests that a future where we are connected to a surrogate, is a possible option, although technologically still very challenging.

I don’t read graphic novels very often, so I can’t judge how this book fits in with others. But I found some of the drawings overtly simplistic (as in “a 3-year old can do these”) while others were much more sophisticated. I think there was a reason behind it: when someone was seen from afar, his drawing tended not to be very clear, as you’d get when seeing someone in real life.

There were a lot of pictures without text, and I had to watch out not to skim them, but take good notice, as they were definitely part of the story.

The pages were beautifully shiny, and while most pages weren’t in full colour, the pictures always had a background colour (the same colour for all pictures on a page). I felt it was done really beautifully.

Rating: 4/5 stars

I got this book: from Trisha of Eclectic/Eccentric

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 208

First published: 2006

Genre: graphic novel, science fiction

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