It’s always great when a Kickstarter comes along that you can pledge for and root for and get genuinely excited about supporting. The most recent project to capture my interest (and get me reaching for my credit card) is Silicon Heart, a graphic novel project written by Sam Roads with art by Kat Nicholson.
Silicon Heart is a 120 page graphic novel, set to be published across four issues. You can download a free preview of Volume One from the Kickstarter page here.
I found out about the project via Auto Assembly as Kat Nicholson has worked on Transformers comics and has been a convention guest there in the past. If you’ve been following my Robo Reads book reviews – which tend to muse on such things as relationships with robots, and the fears and prejudices that so surround artificial intelligence – then you’ll quickly see why this particular project piqued my interest.
Here’s the blurb:
A powerful new graphic novel about love and prejudice, set thirty years from now in the Welsh Valleys.
January is a bullied teenager who finds solace in the embrace of synthetic-being Rho. Her friends and family are unready to accept this, but when January takes a stand against the prejudice of the law, no-one is prepared for what happens next…
The preview pages show just how perfectly Kat Nicholson’s sweet and charming art style complements the text of this sad and sympathetic story. I particularly appreciated the subtle disconnect between January’s words, “in the evening, I had a great night out. All my friends were there,” and the reality of her situation, as she is pictured alone in her room. We’re all guilty of embellishing the truth at times – especially since the rise of social media – but this comic captures that urge to fictionalise, and the pain of loneliness and being bullied, in a particularly poignant way. I get the impression that this sense of uncomfortable truths lurking beneath a superficially sweet exterior will extend to the comic’s world-building and society as a whole. “BLINK2ACCEPT” for example, suggests at once impressive levels of technological advancement and a very sinister level of social control and surveillance.
It’s also really refreshing to encounter a near-future set project like this that takes place in the Welsh valleys, rather than in some sprawling dystopian metropolis. It’ll be really interesting to see where this story goes and how things progress.
The Kickstarter has a little over a week left to run and is already close to reaching its funding goal which is very encouraging. But if this great independent graphic novel interests you do please consider making a pledge and helping to spread the world to ensure January and Rho’s story can continue. There are some nice additional rewards on offer including thank you credits, numbered editions and even character sketches for higher tier backers. Find out more over on the Silicon Heart Kickstarter page.