Monday, September 28, 2009

The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone

First off, I should say that this is the first book of The Surrogates series I have read and therefore I might not appreciate it as much as an original fan.
I think my main complaint about this book is the art form. I loved the color palette but I felt that the penciling was rough. However, this might be intentional to contrast the idea of the "perfect," sleek surrogate units. Still, it made differentiating the characters difficult and didn't add an artistic quality to the book. The ballooning was extremely frustrating. I can see that the idea was so have perfect round circles but I hated it when the balloons would unnecessarily cut off the heads of characters and because they weren't outlined it was sometimes difficult to see which character the tail pointed to (see page 26, panel 3 as just one example). Also, I, personally, just don't like when the balloons and gutters seep together. But as I said before, the color palette was pleasing and created a tone and atmosphere for the piece.
The plot wasn't completely original but what what Venditti did well was showing how his vision of 2039 is unique. The back-matter, although sometimes felt a little forced, did create a sense of the world and issues of The Surrogates. I thought some of the most interesting topics that were raised were not just using Surrogates for body image but also to decrease chance of illness (see the questionnaire on pages 93-96). Also, the use of slang (See page 1) helped give the idea of surrogates an authority. The only part of the setting that I think needed some work was that it did not feel like Georgia to me. I am from Georgia but besides the name dropping of familiar locations I didn't know why this story was specifically set in the South.
Overall, I felt like this book is a good read but not groundbreaking.