Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Prisoner - Justin Szostak

The Prisoner is a very uniquely styled, interesting online graphic novel featured by AMC, the company that has produced incredible TV series like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. This online graphic novel is a spinoff of the show featured on AMC’s network. 

The story itself is centred around a character named Rebecca Meadows. It opens with a narration from Rebecca, “I’ve come to this city to find my sister and take her home. The only thing you need to know about me… is that I’m about to do a very stupid thing. And the thing that makes this really stupid? I have no idea if it’s going to work.” Right there I was hooked. Rebecca then hurls herself through a glass window and crashes to the ground below. She awakes to find herself in a place called The Village. The Village is a shared experience in the unconscious minds of its inhabitants. The Village was created by scientists of a powerful corporation called Summakor. It is in this subconscious universe that Rebecca hopes to find her sister, Vera. After meeting a contact and doing some investigating, Rebecca is able to find Vera. Rebecca and her sister look for a way to escape the village while being pursued by men who work for Summakor. The agents of Summakor eventually catch up and are able to take back Vera. Rebecca however is saved by a group of strangers. The strangers inform her that in order to free everyone from The Village, Rebecca has to kill the “dreamer” in both the real world and The Village. In the end, Rebecca finds out that she isn’t actually real, just a thought created by the Dreamer, Vera.

The story is a fast-paced suspense/thriller that tests the power of love, and the power of the mind,  while it explores the subconscious world of dreams. Rebecca’s apparent love for her sister drives her to do anything in order to find her. However it all was just a dream created by the subconscious of Vera, a lonely girl without a sister. The story is about what our minds are capable of, that in extreme circumstances we can even create an illusion to fulfill our needs and our voids. People day dream every day, and this story is an elaborate example of that.

What is very interesting about this online graphic novel is the illustrative style used. It takes advantage of today’s technological abilities to create a partially moving graphic novel that plays somewhere in the middle of a comic book and a movie. The artwork is dark and vague. I believe this is done to resemble the difficulty of trying to remember details after waking from a dream. This also might be an example of amplification through simplification, allowing any reader to let be captured and captivated by the story.

In the end I found the story to be a very enjoyable read, and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a short, fast-paced graphic novel!

Justin Szostak

1 comment:

  1. I thought that your review of The Prisoner was very detailed and well thought out. That opening would definitely get me hooked as well, it sounds intense and mystifying! I think that the fact that people can; in a way; get trapped in their own minds and get caught up in the illusion of it all is very cool. Overall I was happy to be introduced to this graphic novel!
    Matthew White