…in IF there are no questions… only answers
Writers: Brandon Barrows (D is for Victory), Alex Eckman-Lawn (Moon), Chas! Pangburn (Big Foot, Little Hope), Jon Clark (Cling), Dino Caruso (The Initiation; Smash Atom: The Arachnid Assignment), Mike Salt (Alone), Glenn Matchett (Love by Numbers), Garrett Sneen (Automata), Michael Malkin (Life in the Game), Zach Bassett (Signs of Life), Loki DeWitt (Showdown in Space), James E. Roche (Apex War), Chip Reese (Equivalent Exchange), Casey Reese (Equivalent Exchange), Robert Menegus (Ticket Home)
Artists: Peebo Mondia (D is for Victory), Alex Eckman-Lawn (Moon), Mariano Laclaustra (Big Foot, Little Hope), Jon Clark (Cling), Sam Argo (The Initiation), Fabian Cobos (Alone), Dan Lauer (Love by Numbers), Garrett Sneen (Automata), Novo Malgapo (Life in the Game), George Athanasiou (Smash Atom: The Arachnid Assignment), Zach Bassett (Signs of Life), Ugur Sertcelik (Showdown in Space), Salo Farias (Apex War), Eric Weathers (Equivalent Exchange), David Brame (Ticket Home)
Cover Artist: Dan Lauer
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Page Count: 172
Cover Price: $14.99
Release Date: 11/04/2015
IF is a collection of science fiction short stories written and drawn by 15 different artists. Many of the stories seem to take place within the same universe. In this future our world has become a dystopia where humans have allowed technology to run – and then take over – their lives. It is a thought provoking read, and a not-so-subtle social commentary on our reliance on technology.
One story that follows this common theme is Love by Numbers. A robot begins to question what it means to be alive. The feelings he holds for his madam lead him to believe that he is alive, and subsequently he begins to question if humans are the ones who may be inanimate. The story takes a sinister turn and leaves the reader a question. Are you alive because you feel, or do you feel because you are alive?
There were some stories that were not weighed down by the possible annihilation of the human race at the hands of robots. These different kind of stories gave a nice break from the heavier subject matter. Big Foot, Little Hope finds THE Big Foot going through a midlife crisis. He looks back on his past and realizes he needs to make some changes in order to get out of his funk. It has a more comic mood than the other stories. Audiences may wonder: Does Big Foot find his happily ever after?
One story in particular stands out as different from the others. In The Initiation a boy sorcerer must defeat a monster in order to become a student of The Congregation (a seemingly magical society that “investigates dark mysteries and inexplicable phenomena”). The story may seem like it belongs in a fantasy genre book, however, the surprise twist matches the dark subjects of the rest of the novel. So, what can one boy do with all that power?
Though each story has a different artist, the collection feels cohesive because of the lack of color. The art is inked only in grayscale. The lack of color also lends well to the feeling of lost humanity and adds a perfect eeriness. Would color have given too much life to the technology-deadened characters of this universe?
Overall, this book was very interesting to read. It’s also longer than most stand alone comics and would be great for a person who reads quickly. IF is definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of the Sci Fi/Fantasy genres, or of dystopian worlds in general. Finally… IF may have only answers, but reading this graphic novel certainly left me with questions. The most burning of which: where do we go from here?