Living In A Post-Digital World
♦ Tripwire’s new contributing writer Tim Cundle takes a look at Image’s Analog Vol.1, out now from Image Comics…
Writer: Tim Cundle
Artist: David O’Sullivan
Colourist: Jodie Bellaire
Letterer: Joe Sabino
What was it John Rambo said to justify the trail of carnage and destruction he left in his wake? Something along the lines of “the man kept pushing” wasn’t it? Like the eighties anti-hero who was brought into the mainstream’s consciousness by First Blood, everyone has a point at which they’ll break, when they react to, rather than interact with, a given situation. Analog is the story of the world that rose from the ashes after a small cadre of determined, and incredibly able, individuals reacting to the ever-increasing influence of social media and the exponential role it began to play on population and governmental control pushed back against, and released, the stranglehold that the few held on the many. It’s the story of a world that, for the most part, has turned its back on the internet after every dark secret, every dirty trick and every half-truth that everyone, everywhere kept hidden online was exposed to everyone else. And it’s the story of Jack McGiniss, who helped turn the internet inside out, and his coming to terms with, and trying to eke out a living in a world in which the digital and analogue playing fields have been well and truly levelled.
Jack’s a Ledger Man, a hard copy courier who carries priceless corporate and personal information from one place to another the old-fashioned way; on paper. He’s very good at what he does. He has to be, as hackers and thieves, just like the Ledger Men, have also adapted to the new world and are still determined to get their hands on whatever they can, anyway they can. Meaning that good Ledger Men like Jack have to use any and all means at their disposal to get whatever it is they’re transporting to their clients on time. It’s a tough business, and like I said, Jack is very good at what he does. After introducing Analog’s “hero” Jack to the world in a brief and bloody manner, Gerry Duggan then sets about building his deliciously detailed, dark and twisted plot in which Jack finds himself “forced” into working for the government , saving his partner in crime and passion from the oppressive forces of law and order following a rather violent difference of opinion with a contingent of nazi’s and ends up becoming hopelessly mired and immersed in a devilishly complicated global conspiracy of his own making.
A rollercoaster ride of epic proportions that’s set in a dystopian, and all too believable, near-future, Analog is the kind of knock-out literary punch that makes a writer’s career. Or, it would be if Gerry Duggan wasn’t already at the top of the mountain. Effortlessly fusing the spirits of Philip K Dick and Raymond Chandler in a futuristic noir thriller, Duggan uses Analog to push back against the rise of right-wing politics and the growing reliance and dependence on social media, digs his feet in and creates an all too realistic, and at times slightly uncomfortable, vision of where the world could easily, and conceivably, be heading. Analog is rallying cry for Generation X and the millennials who followed to take a step back from the brink, to stand up and do what’s right by pushing back against the swelling tide of fascism and the Faceless entity that’s encroaching ever further into each and every one of our personal lives. Accompanied by David O’Sullivan, whose eighties centric Gibbons influenced art is rounded out and given its pulp infused noir direction by the beautifully washed out colours of Jordie Belliare, Gerry Duggan has created a rod for his own back, as Analog is destined to become the yardstick against which everything he ever writes will be measured. Analog is Duggan’s Watchmen moment, his Dark Knight Returns and it is absolutely unmissable. Thoroughly recommended. Tim Cundle
Analog Vol.1 is out now from Image Comics.