A few months back, I got to preview the first chapter of Techno-Mancer by Raph Moran and Marc Borstel. Now that I’ve read the whole graphic novel, I wanted to let folks know just what I thought of the entire story.
In that earlier article, I started off with the following idea: If technology didn’t exist at the level we now experience it, many devices we’re used to would seem like magic to us. For example, if someone in the Middle Ages pulled out an iPhone, anyone seeing it would not have any idea how it works.
Well, in Raphael Moran’s latest comic Techno-Mancer, that’s basically the book’s premise. The set-up is a little different, though.
Previously in TECHNOMANCER: In this 128-page trade paperback, the world has gone through a period in which technology nearly destroyed the planet. Some people were chosen to re-boot society in one specific location, and no technology at all is allowed there.
WHEN IS MAGIC ACTUALLY TECHNOLOGY?
In the comic, the world has lived through a period in which technology nearly destroyed the planet. Some people were chosen to re-boot society in one specific location, and no technology at all is allowed there.
As the book opens, Merrick the Magician and his troupe have come to town, complete with his act, designed to dazzle the locals. When local “lawgivers” think he’s using magic, they go after him, intending to arrest and prosecute him. While escaping Merrick encounters a girl who mysteriously appears in the sky. She employs forces Merrick doesn’t understand to help him escape. The questions now arise: Is she a real witch? Is she using real magic? Where did she come from? The series will do its best to help us find out just what’s happening here.
I’m a long-time fan of Moran’s stories. He always finds a way to give the reader a new twist or turn, or even a story I’ve never read before at all! I think that’s quite a challenge in today’s market! Add to that the fact that I’ve read comics for decades, and you can see why his creativity impresses me!
His previous work before Techno-Mancer was Flee, which told a story from two very different perspectives, one of an alien attack force come to conquer Earth, and the other from a guy in the suburbs working as a bug exterminator. I didn’t know what to expect, but I sure got a great, fun story! He’s also created Dream Reavers, a very diverse and unique comic series that I still recommend to people who want to read something different.
THE ART GLISTENS AS WELL
Marc Borstel delivers art that shines in that it has a painted feel, but that doesn’t prevent it from keeping up with Moran’s fast-paced plotting and sharp characterization. The combination works well, and you get lost in the book very easily.
It’s very important that characters be easily recognizable as well as locations and technology. Mr. Borstel provides movie-like art that made me sometimes forget I was reading a comic instead of watching the television.
I also found the colors bright and matching the “magic” the story intends. At times, there are bright reds and blues, and in other instances, the hues are much more subdued, depending on what’s happening. Nicely done!
SO, DOES THE TRADE DELIVER ON THE STORY?
The mystery behind Roya, the “magic” girl, is revealed, and from the smaller beginnings of the tale to the end, there’s a strong crescendo of action developing until it ends up in battle sequences that wowed me.
The characters develop and meet their individual destinies by the end of the book, and many of the twists and turns genuinely surprised me. The great thing about a graphic novel like this is that some survive and some don’t, unlike comics that have to return each and every month. I’m turning more and more into a fan of this kind of storytelling because literally everything is up in the air, including the main “heroes” and “villains.”
In other words, I truly enjoyed it!
BOTTOM LINE: DEFINITELY AN EYE-POPPING, ENGAGING STORY OF “MAGIC!”
I enjoy variety in my reading, as I often say. This book transported me to a new place with new characters and new experiences. I can’t often say that about comics!
If you’d like to find out more about this comic, find and “like” their Facebook page. You might also discover more at the Markosia site, who publishes the book. At Amazon.com, it can be ordered, but only with “limited availability.” (Read, “collectible!”)
If you haven’t discovered this excellent book, don’t miss out! It’ll be well worth you falling into the story and getting lost there for a while!