Solid State by Jonathan Coulton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Weird, beautiful, and good. I haven’t yet heard the album for which this was written, and maybe that’s a mistake, but Matt Fraction was co-author and I had to gobble it up.
First, the easy part: the art is good. It brings depth that a novelization just couldn’t match. I like the lines and the use of color and the general absurdity, particularly with feelings communicated with thumbs-up and thumbs-downs.
The story–more complicated. In fact I think I’ll have to read it again to really grok it, but it is essentially about reality and time and privacy versus privilege. It is a flag in the ground for the net neutrality wars, a banner that sometimes there is just a too far. And yet even that acknowledges there are consequences.
It’s a bit non-linear–I think–but it’s a comic/book that will both please you and make you rock back and think.
It’s also charming, for me, to learn that one of my favorite nerd musicians (Coulton) is a fan of one of my favorite comic writers (Fraction). But of course he is. I saw throwbacks in this, too, to some of Coulton’s earlier hits, like Code Monkey. The man has his themes…and it works.