DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? OMNIBUS (Boom, Second Printing, 2017; Softcover)
Collects Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? #1-24 (cover dates June, 2009- May, 2011)
Writers: Philip K. Dick
Artists: Tony Parker
Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? is the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner. Ridley Scott admits that he never made it through the entire book, and it shows when you watch the movie. While the table setting is the same (android bounty hunter Deckard, etc.), the goal posts are located in entirely different spots than the movie version which most people are familiar with.
This was a tough slog of a read for the first four to eight issues. Unlike any other comic book adaptation, this is a word for word transcription of the original novel. While I am not a fan of decompression, the first several issues are packed with so many words that they fall flat. Too wordy for a comic book, too many pictures for a novel. The huge swaths of words ruin the story flow and if I were a single issue buyer, or even if I bought the first trade back when it came out, I would have bailed on this series. It's a chore to read for a while.
|This makes Don McGregor look like Bendis by comparison.|
The story itself is very good, although the climax was kind of a whimper instead of a bang. This is where my preconceived notion due to the film ruined things. I imagine if you read the book in the '60s or '70s it was mindblowing, predicting anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, the ramification of technology in daily life, the questions technology would pose to humanity, etc. The book poses different questions and moral dilemmas than the movie did.
The focus of this story is also quite different from the film. Most animals are dead due to the fallout of nuclear war, and electric animals are very popular. Owning a real animal is cost prohibitive and a status symbol as well as a sign of empathy. Due to the new “religion” Mercerism, empathy is considered the greatest virtue one can have. The Penfield mood organ is basically Xanax, with people trying to follow Mercer's teachings. Deckard pursues these androids so that he can afford a real animal.
Rick Deckard is still an android hunting bounty hunter, and he is after six of a new kind of android who have illegally returned from an offworld colony. In many ways the version of Earth in the book is even more dystopian than in the film. There's a whole subplot with Isidore that is not explored in the movie. The Noir aspect of the film is entirely absent in the original book.
As a comic this is just okay. The artwork and coloring are both mediocre, with my kindest description being “adequate”. I dislike the color palette used, a sea of bluish grays and grayish blues, overly rendered and making everything look lifeless and dull, and not in a way that serves the story. The story is very good of course.
So should you buy this? Maybe. It's worth a read, but if your local library has it you might be better off checking it out instead of buying it like I did.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This is the part where I go into tactile sensations and materials of physical media. Those with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or women who are pregnant should exit my blog at their earliest convenience, as their safety cannot be guaranteed beyond this point.
The first printing has a red circle on the front cover instead of the blue one found on this printing.
Paper stock: Heavy glossy coated stock.
Binding: Sewn binding.
Cardstock cover notes: Matte coating with embossed foil spot varnish.