User

Devin Grayson, John Bolton, and Sean Phillips. Image, $29.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-5343-0159-7
This sumptuous hardcover is set in the early digital age of the 1990s: the World Wide Web is text-based, access is via dial-up modem, phone bills are outrageous, and intrepid users create and push boundaries to define this new frontier. Meg Chancellor, a disaffected 20-something still living in her deeply dysfunctional family home, obsessively latches onto a fantasy RPG chat room where she reinvents herself as the fearless and chivalrous paladin, Sir Guillaume de la Coeur. Gender norms, conventional sexuality, and identity barriers are thrown out the window as she explores her character, adventures, and comrades-in-arms, but painful realities challenge her to confront the tension between her personas. Originally published as a three-issue series in 2001 by Vertigo, this compilation contains gorgeous art and coloring by Bolton (Shame) and Philips (Kill or Be Killed). The real world is depicted in a photorealistic moody monochrome while the online realm is enchanting and vibrant with prismatic color. Although Meg is sometimes unsympathetic and over-the-top, Nightwing writer Grayson’s fast-paced and relevant coming-of-age drama brings alive the passion, promise, and compassion inspired by the budding online world. (May)
Reviewed on: 09/11/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
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