Friday, February 16, 2007

Random Reading: Testament: Akedah

I had planned to have more than just this book this week. I had pre-ordered DMZ: Body of a Journalist from (along with two Incal books: The Epic Journey and The Epic Conspiracy) and was informed this week, a week after the book came out that somehow doesn't have any copies. It's still "out of stock" and I won't get my copy until sometime in March. Could be sooner, I hope. I'm just amused by the whole thing. Usually, pre-ordering books mean you get them within a few days of them coming out. Unless, as I've joked to friends, the demand for this book was so great that they couldn't even fill the pre-orders and the book is sold-out from their distributor and Vertigo has on its hands a sell-out of a trade in less than a week. No idea what actually happened, but I doubt that scenario somehow.

But, the campus bookstore has a sale on graphic novels for 20% off, so I'll probably pick up two or three this week. Plus, my Incal books should arrive soon. Until then, you'll just have to be satisfied with . . .

Testament: Akedah

I don't quite know what to make of this book. It gives a lot of information, setting the series up, but also doesn't seem to give enough. I think part of the problem is too much time is spent connecting the dots between what's happening now and what happened in Biblical times. I know, I know, it's kind of the point of the series, but it seems too heavy-handed and rushed. Like writer Douglas Rushkoff is trying too hard to get all of the pieces on the board right away instead of letting it flow a little more naturally.

In a way, I found it too plot-heavy, which is a strange change of pace from most books that seem to be character-heavy and have little plot (an example off the top of my head would be the first American Virgin trade). I know everything that's going on and have a sense of where it's going, but the characters aren't there. I honestly don't give a fuck about them most of the time.

The basic plot is: the government, at some point in the past, put little tracking chips in kids to help prevent abductions and such. Now, they want every person under a certain age to have them so that they can be used to hunt down draft dodgers or something like that. And some people don't agree and form a little resistance.

Except all of the characters we see also correspond with someone from Biblical times, right now it's centred around the time of Abraham, so it's not like an all-star squad of Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. That is a plus in a big way. A lesser writer would have did something like that. Here, the connections seem natural.

Liam Sharp's art is solid and reminds me of Frank Quitely's here. Much different from the last work I saw of his. It suits the material.

This is the first thing I've seen Rushkoff write, so maybe it will take him a little bit of time to grow into the style. There's enough here to make me want to pick up the next book and make my final judgement then.