Death is touching another human being. Skin to Skin contact to be precise. Any touch. A kiss, a hug, a casual touch to the back of the neck.. All of these will kill.
- The Great Divide: Separation is Survival is Separation - Vol 1 (Ben Fisher, Adam Markiewicz)
- 144 pages
- Dynamite Entertainment
- ISBN-10: 1524103349
- ISBN-13: 978-1524103347
In Ben Fisher's The Great Divide, 'Seperation is Survival', and the Human desire for Community actively works to kill. Paul and Maria are an odd couple, stuck trying to determine if community is worth it, or if the company of a Rider means more that that of the living.
After the barest of touches.. When hemmoraging from the eyes and ears, a life ends painfully but quick in torrents of blood. Within minutes, when death is complete, it is unclear what other trauma occurs during death. The bloody deceased, however, are not gone.
They become Riders.
Riders are personality, memories, skills, all rolled up and forcefully stuffed into the brain of the person who survived the touch. A Rider can see through the windows, can hear the sounds, but is locked in forever.
You become dyslexic when you have a Rider. On top of the guilt of manslaughter (or outright murder), beyond the insanity of having others in your head, you also lose the ability to read.
The Great Divide, an expanse of human solitude. The Soulbox is the key to crossing the Divide.
Collaboratively, the writing of Ben Fisher and art of Adam Markiewicz are a fine marriage. The pace of the graphic novel and the textures present in the work drive the media home. The amount of world building needed to carry the story was minimal in the end work. I can see where I would have been a bit nutzo had I been reading monthlies though, as the story lends itself well to the overall Graphic format, but would feel patchy if presented in parts.
Some questions popped into my brain as I read this which were loosely answered, but ultimately not well. For example, two people touch, and one dies.. so who touched who? Does it matter? It is much different than the apocalypse happening at midnight, but in what time zone?.. The final answer was simple character hypothesis that it was not a roll of the dice or a matter of timing. Instead, will power alone was described as the probable key to living.
Meh, I suppose that works. Later the story builds a bit to support it, but it felt more than a bit contrived.
Overall, this work was solid and my wimpy nitpicking is exactly that.
If you have a few minutes to spare, here is the interview with the creators via the Things From Another World blog.
Disclosure: This Graphic Novel was provided for me for review purposes by the publisher. It was kind if them to allow me access and in return I have cancelled the deliveries of PooPourri samples to their individual grand parent's homes. Instead, they will begin to open mailboxes stuffed with requests for me to be added to the inheritance.. I am, after all, a cuddly fat bear of a man.