Written by Josh Finney
Art by Kat Rocha, co-artist Josh Finney
Cover by Salvador Trakol
I was only just lamenting that there’s not many actual Sci-Fi comics out there.
The pure science fiction comics are not really being produced. Most that are tend to be more the Hollywood blockbuster type of read; all heavy on the action and light on ideas and concepts.
The Utiopiates is the real deal. It has a clever concept of a new type of drug that literally alters the mind and is the addict’s dream of escape. The Utopiate drug gives you the memory of someone else and that can be either the heady high of a better life or a darker one. Then it posits what a near-future world would possibly be like if such a drug existed.
There’s three interlinked stories in this volume and each has a different take on the impact of the drug. One a basic addict, another a soldier for a private contractor and an enforcer for a shadowy woman who deals in the drug, a woman whose agenda is quite murky.
The story by Josh Finney is really focused and clear. He calls this series a “dark underworld of Bio-Tech noir” and it is all this and more. There’s no padding or overblown speeches here, everything pushes the narrative forward with an efficient grace. Sometimes a writer has a great idea and then squanders it by just not developing it more. Thankfully that’s not the case here.
The art by both writer Josh and wife Kat Rocha, is quite evocative and has a lot of mood and drips with atmosphere. I think the work took a long time as by the time you get to the 3rd story the style is honed to perfection with the characters vivid. I would say that the use of photography as a basis for the art, actually gives an air of reality to the book and with the use of warm hues helps the sometimes stiff drawbacks of this technique, makes it seem more like a window into this world.
The Utopiates like a drug is a heady hit to your system. It’s distilled science fiction and pure storytelling by this husband and wife team makes me giddy with excitement for the next volume. I may be addicted to this book but unlike a real addict who will never again get the rush of the 1st hit I expect the 2nd volume to be even more impressive.
You can buy the 1st volume here: http://utopiatescomic.com/ which would be the best way to buy it, as I’d think the creators will make the most for their hard work in what is most assuredly a passion project but you can see all of this in the comic.