We take a look at Farhan Qureshi’s political action epic webcomic Digitopia, presented as part of a single issue here depicting a world at war as a city and her populace continued to battle an enemy who have since taken over. Can Qureshi, Piriz and Robins’ new comics declare victory over the hearts and minds of readers or will it fail to win them over?
Publisher: Farhan Qureshi Comics
Writer: Farhan Qureshi, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Editor), Luke Robins (Sub-Editor)
Artist: Sebastian Piriz (Illustrator), Simon Robins (Colourist/Letterer)
Price: TBC from www.comic.digitopiafilm.com
Digitopia tells the story of once peaceful and vibrant city which is now a place on the brink of extinction after having lost a war to the neighbouring Confederate Army. Now a population annexed by their former neighbours, this series follows the fortunes of the former revolutionaries who, while once leading the charge against the enemy, must now find a way to live amongst them. From leader Silas who now survives by producing propaganda FOR the enemy, to his brother Jay, who must balance his long term goals to obtain victory with raising an impulsive daughter, herself eager for vengeance. But with an intelligent enemy whose leader’s own plans appear to be heading towards fruition, is this really war the people of Digitopia can win?
Farhan Qureshi has developed a very interesting, extremely politically complex action/war story with Digitopia, with the story offering multiple different perspectives from both sides of the war effort. As such, this first issue gives off an air of relevancy as we are treated from a war story from lesser focused insurgency’s point of view. As a result, this issue sees the action take a back seat to the characters as their positions within the world are given great focus. Chief among these are Silas, whose transition from freedom fighter to government ‘puppet’ is an intriguing tale which, while not shown here, would make for compelling flashbacks later. Meanwhile Yale, the leader of the Confederacy, is quite a villain as he comes across as very cold and calculating whose future plans are of great interest. However, while the characters are intriguing to learn more about, the issue does suffer from a lot of jumping about between those moving parts, causing a degree of disruption in the overall pacing. That said, this may be a temporary problem as, going forward, the various plot threads may converge together.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Piriz offers up some gorgeous, character driven artwork to compliment the story. Piriz’s style, which bares a striking resemblance to the Curia Regis webcomic, really works well as it shows the characters emotions and feelings through their faces to an incredibly detailed degree. This, coupled with Piriz’s fantastic rendition of Digitopia’s skylines, really helps to make the entire issue feel rather epic in terms of its scope. Simon Robins’ colours, meanwhile, also help enhance the art of the title, creating a distinction between the past and the revolution focused scenes (depicted in cool colours) and the Confederacy focused present (warm colours). As a result, it does help with keeping track of what character is on which side.
Digitopia’s first issue is an incredibly fascinating and compelling comic with an engaging world rendered with gorgeous art. While this first issue is filled with multiple stories working seemingly side by side, all feel like they have a great weight to them that will eventually meet with the others to offer us a very real look at the life of people looking to fight terrible, unstoppable enemies. Therefore, this first issue offers a lot of goodwill to convince you to come back in the next instalment.