A Smorgasbord.

Madi: Once Upon a Time in the Future

Written by Alex De Campi and Duncan Jones

(with 29 artists contributing)

260 pages.

Published by Z2 Comics

Buy it HERE.

It's a future noir cyberpunk story, very long page count again. I'm very glad I pledged on Kickstarter for this.

Basically what Alex did was tell a story of a Cybernetic enhanced woman soldier (Madi) her sister and a team of four others on her squad, sent by someone to retrieve data for a price. A kind of story familiar to those who read Ghost in the Shell or William Gibson's Neuromancer.

Where Alex went rouge on us is in deliberately using a vast smorgasbord of artists contributing their unique styles and approaches to rendering the visuals. They run the gambit from:

inky scrawly like a school kid's notebook


quirky quiet-line spacial and soft


hard core Nemesis gritty


Sean Phillips-esque breezy and light

... and about 5 or 6 other styles as well. My favorite was a Moebius type mix of attention to detail, color and atmosphere but keeping it open:

Was it a good idea? Hard to say. The style jumps hit you mid-chapter, there's no seeming purpose of the juxtaposition. Which could be a good thing; a tool for the writer to have to intentionally flip the reader's retention out of the story and to keep them off balance.

Instead I got a sense that this was not used. Perhaps it was more of a logistic sense of just simply making sure all the pages get illustrated by someone. The sheer logistics of making sure no holes poke out might have consumed all their time.

Still, I'll definitely go back to this and re-read it. There's a lot of great art to savor, and while the story does get hacked about by having these jarring changes in style, it's not impossible to connect what's going on with the characters and follow the action.

Madi: Once Upon a Time in the Future is a great GN to have if you're a huge fan of old-school Heavy Metal magazine. There's a representative of every style imaginable there!

Next Tuesday:

Something 'Macabre' from Frank Martin...

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