cover image eJunky


Nicholas Tana and Kyle Faehnrich. Scout, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-63969-181-4

Ex-detective Hector Holmes chases a criminal conspiracy in a future dystopia of memory implants and sensation voyeurs in Tana (Hell’s Kitty) and Faenrich’s over-wrought but fabulously drawn graphic novel debut. Hector’s one of this world’s thrill-seeking “experience junkies,” or eJunkies, only stimulated by the extreme highs he can get from easily available chemical or synthetic dreams. When Torch, a new drug that brings on the most intense illusions, leaves in its wake a trail of deaths—or murders?—Hector’s old supervisor tasks him with cracking the case. Unfortunately, the dense script by Tana buries familiar themes behind thinly disguised sci-fi allegories, endless (often undefined) technical jargon, characters who aren’t named until well after they’re dead, and significant plot details dumped into verbose (though beautifully designed) inter-chapter text pages. The artwork by Faehnrich, however, is a major plus, with a wild rubbery style reminiscent of Gahan Wilson or the Pander Brothers. The coloring is gorgeous, with neon-bright pink and green illumination that pops against deep blue and purple shades and even a sepia-rendered section set in the 19th century. Influences range from The Matrix to Total Recall, but in the end, this comes off mostly like a slick-looking but loopy Raymond Chandler parody. (Sept.)