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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Surrogates leads a double life

click to enlarge SECOND COMINGS: The Surrogates (Vol. 1)
  • SECOND COMINGS: The Surrogates (Vol. 1)

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." And maybe even offer a movie contract from Disney. I see Bruce Willis as the mouse.

Perhaps a graphic novel-turned-action-movie doesn’t live up to the usual idea of a mousetrap, unless pop culture consumers qualify as the mice. Nevertheless, the local success story of The Surrogates shows the power of a simple, snappy narrative idea to conquer multiple media. Cumming, Ga.-based comic book writer Robert Venditti achieved his breakthroughs with such speed and ease, he qualifies as the exception that proves the rule for aspiring artists. Meanwhile, the big-screen adaptation of his graphic novel The Surrogates illustrates the kind of creative strengths that get lost and found in translation.

For The Surrogates, Venditti uses a high-tech murder mystery to explore a premise worthy of Philip K. Dick, who provided the source material for such provocative films as Blade Runner and Minority Report. In the mid-21st century, most Americans vicariously enjoy their lives by operating android surrogates. While wearing pajamas at their home work-stations, people link up to younger, better-looking mechanical doppelgangers, living ideal versions of themselves without physical risks. It’s like an extension of the ability to craft a new identity online, summed up in the modern adage, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Continue reading "The Surrogates leads a double life"

(Image © Robert Venditti)

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