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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

What I Did Yesterday

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Was to walk into a comic book store and make a purchase. That's a first for me. In my whole life. Going into a comic book store. And buying something.

The impulse that prompted the move was part curiosity, part fidelity. Back in December, media critic and author Douglas Rushkoff realeased the first issue of "Testament," a comic book he's authored with Liam Sharp. The hype surrounding it dubs "Testament" as an amalgam of Biblical reflection and futuristic fiction. What can I say? My interest was piqued.

I bought the first three issues, and read them all throughout the afternoon. The first thing to note is that the book is put out by Vertigo, the "mature" branch of DC comics. I realized this fact as I thumbed through the first issue while waiting for a friend at a public restaurant. More than one passerby was treated to a full page image of a blue-colored and topless goddess type figure. Yeah, didn't like that so much. It was more the feeling that I was reading something seedy in a public place (or, at all, for that matter) than it was an objection to the artwork, which, on its own merits, is pretty impressive.

But more than that, "Testament" is a cool read. Rushkoff is a bit of a Biblical scholar, and he's committed to the proposition that Biblical stories are living, generative things, and not repositories of some kind of unchangeable code of truth. And so the book melds pretty straightforward re-telling of Genesis narratives (can you draw Sodom and avoid an "R" rating?) with the unwinding of a story about a futuristic underground cyber-community.

For what it's worth, I'll be buying the next installment.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:00 AM


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