Jan’s Atomic Heart and Other Stories

Simon Roy. Image, $14.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-60706-936-2
Roy is best known for his work on Prophet with Brandon Graham; but before that bought him to wider public awareness, he self-published a number of black-and-white comics, a selection of which are collected here. Roy’s SF stories explore humanity via the ostensibly nonhuman—from lighthearted space bar-fight escapades to socio-politically resonant observations, all captured with loose wash drawings that don’t sacrifice the grungy lived-in look of the future locales. The title story is the longest and most notable, set in a world in which protagonist Jan, after an accident, is unhappily given an old, discontinued robot body while waiting on his new one; he eventually comes to suspect that it is equipped with more than he bargained for. The twist is well executed, and the emotion derived from Jan’s quiet acceptance of an unraveling situation is acute. “Shipwrecked with Dan the Gorilla” is the other standout, with human castaway Brian owing much of his survival and continued existence to his friendship with Dan, an intelligent talking gorilla. When the opportunity to make his way back to the real world presents itself, Brian is eager to take his friend with him, but Dan is not so keen to go. Roy’s work finds a space between diversionary and substantial. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Comics
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-1-63215-068-4
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