While wandering through Artist’s Alley at WonderCon last weekend, I noticed a booth for the comic Myopia, which caught my attention. When the comic came out from Dynamite last November, I noticed that the sci-fi and tech-driven ideas behind the book were interesting to me, but I managed to miss its release. Author of the award-winning story the comic is based on, Richard Dent, kindly chatted to me about the project and about his experiences as an educator, too.
A one-shot “special” from Dynamite, the 32 page story is set in a world where special lenses in James Chase’s eyes enable him to be “invisible” inside the “Central Lens Network” to which everyone belongs. He’s on a mission to stop a widespread infringement of the “Magnetic Energy Agreement” since the lenses people are using are now a “tool of the goverment”. The lenses are being used to hide the fact that extreme mining has destroyed the environment from citizens.
The story and comic was originally part of a successful Kickstarter with big literary support from George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Dean Koontz, and Jim Butcher.
This kind of story is definitely part of our zeitgeist right now, with shows and films exploring the limits of invasive personalized technology and also looking at the impact of industrialization on our world. Will we see more of the world of Myopia? Let’s hope so.
The artwork on the one-shot by Patrick Berkenkotter shows an interesting approach to realism, making the tech struggles of the comic that much more believable through a certain grittiness. Choice of colors also works well, with noir and earthtones contrasting to the blue light of lenses.
Comics have always been a home for speculative fiction and things that both entertain us and make us think in a very direct way about the choices we make. Comics like Myopia are definitely part of that tradition.