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Imaginary world revisited

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By Brian Jurilla

By Brian Jurilla

Comic books have proven to be one of the most influential forms of art. They have helped Hollywood create blockbuster films and bring science fiction stories to the masses. But what are the results when Hollywood takes on comics?

Moebius, the internationally acclaimed illustrator and film designer for “Alien,” “Blade Runner” and “The Fifth Element,” influenced a generation when he joined forces with writer Alexandro Jodorowsky for “The Incal: The Epic Conspiracy.”

Initially published 25 years ago, Humanoids/DC Comics has reprinted this classic science fiction tale for a new generation.

“The Epic Conspiracy” is the first volume of the story, which introduces John Difool, a low class detective in a degenerate world, who finds his life turned upside down when he discovers an ancient artifact called the Incal.

This leads him on an adventure that takes him around a planet and into its depths, where he encounters different life forms and characters with his dinosaur-like pet bird, Deepo. After discovering the Incal, Difool is chased by many different characters that are after the ancient artifact and he is forced to confront the galaxy’s greatest warrior, the Metabaron, and the awesome powers of the Technopope.

These encounters and many more make up a tale of comical and cosmic proportions that has Difool fighting for not only his very survival, but also the survival of the entire universe.

The plot is what sci-fi stories are made of: the reluctant hero with his sidekick, the warrior, the beautiful and mysterious female character and the great evil that needs to be stopped.

The artwork is a real highlight of the book. Mobius’ artwork is gritty and fitting and complements the artistic story. Soaring skyscrapers, techno ships and the crystal forest look amazing, giving the locals of the story a look that feels believable. The book provides readers with a good story and the need to read the other books in the series.

Jodorowsky comments on everything from obsession with physical appearance to the upper class’ indifference to suffering to the overwhelming presence of the media, which broadcast the chase between the planet’s “Prezident” and the story’s heroes to the center of the planet and seems to revel in symbolism.

Concepts such as Yin and Yang and the multiple dimensions of humankind are explored. An important message is implied when the rag-tag group members must make peace with one another in order to bypass a particular portal. Perhaps equally important is the fact that their enemy follows simply through raw force.

The story may now seem more relevant due to the fact that more and more of us are glued to the television watching reality television and police chases.

“The Incal: The Epic Conspiracy” is a great read and a classic science fiction tale. Even though elements of the story are by the book, it is creative and very imaginative.

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