Saturday, September 29, 2012

Doomsday, My Dear

I make a promise and I deliver! Ha ha! So let's get on with it, shall we?

I'll admit, I was a little unsure about this one at first, but it has grown on me. I think that I've seen links to this around on that fabulous little invention that recently came out called the internets, but what really made me interested was a particular page set that was floating around tumblr showing off the wonderful pacing of one of the scenes, which I will get to soon enough.

So: Doomsday, My Dear, a webcomic by Cami Woodruff. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories. I think most of the appeal lies in the utter shake up of the current system, and because I'm a rebellious young punk, I tend to like such things. I'm not quite sure if Doomsday, My Dear exactly qualifies as post-apocalyptic, but there are a lot of similar elements with the genre that the story touches upon to kind of qualify.
 


Doomsday, My Dear is the story of the people of England (and more specifically London), in a sort of alternate present (a lot of the major events happen in 1999), living in a world where a “blood plague” terrorizes the populace. The disease is fatal for the infants that are born with it, but some survive because they are “Carriers” of the disease. These Carriers are easily identified by their different colored eyes, though otherwise they are just like anyone else. Sounds relatively harmless, right? Well yeah, that's part of the point. A mysterious plot is afoot.


The story follows several characters, but it mostly centers on Abner, a nineteen year old Carrier. You see, one day in 1999, a woman by the name of Gillingham got elected as Prime Minister in shady circumstances. She always had radical views on Carriers and the blood plague, so pretty much everyone assumes that the election was somehow rigged. As soon as she is elected, shit hits the fan and Carriers are hunted down based on the Carrier registry (when the Carrier trait manifests itself, the Carrier had to register with the government, resulting in a handy list) and shot in the streets.


But it gets worse. Gillingham has a not-so-secret secret laboratory/holding facility called Paradiso, where tests are being run on Carriers. And by tests, I mostly mean torture. So torturous tests (boy does that remind me of college).

The nature of the disease seems to be difficult to pin down. As of yet it doesn't really seem like that much of a problem. And one of the main characters points this out. AIDS is more of a problem than this blood plague, and yet this is the disease that everyone is freaking out about. So what's really going on? Because it seems like Gillingham has an agenda that only uses the disease as a way to cover up her true motives.


One of the cool parts of the story is that a lot of the characters lives intersect in an almost Dickensian fashion. The characters have friends on either “side” (the Carriers and the “purging” army, for instance) and relatives just kind of pop up everywhere, sometimes in unexpected places. You'd think that in a place as big as London these people wouldn't be rubbing elbows as much as they do. Not to mention everyone's tragic pasts that lead them to where they are today. But I don't mean any of this as a BAD THING. I think it's quite fun actually, to see how all of these characters' stories fit together. And of course the mysteries are intriguing.

And the art. So, Doomsday, My Dear is one of those comics that I like because of the improvement that such a long spanning project will obviously showcase. This is where most of my hesitation came before I began to read. But the artwork has definitely improved, though I think that the color palette could use a bit of an adjustment and the lettering should be somewhat altered to better complement the pages.

As I mentioned in the very beginning, I was mostly interested in reading this comic after I read a scene from it with magnificent pacing. It is a scene where one of the main characters is escaping from Paradiso and pretending to be another guard on the radio, playing “20 Questions” on duty. It comes closer to the end of where the comic is currently at (as of this writing, page 228) but the story is intriguing enough that I definitely encourage you to read straight from the beginning.


As is almost always the case, I look forward to discovering more of the plot's secrets and seeing the continuous improvement of the art work!

All images copyright of Cami Woodruff.

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