Debuting on Kickstarter this week (and already smashing it’s target!) comes IND-XED a slice of really unique and thought-provoking dystopian science fiction from writer Fraser Campbell (Alex Automatic, The Edge Off, House of Sweets ) and artist Lucy Sullivan (Barking).
This is one of those really exciting small press team ups as Fraser and Lucy bring their unique skills and styles together to create a really haunting and very powerful comic. It’s one of those pairings who you might never think to put together, but as soon as we heard they were working on something it just made total sense as Lucy’s expressive and emotive artwork goes so well with Fraser’s complex and foreboding brand of story telling.
The story follows Meredith, a young girl who has been ‘indexed’ – which seems to be a sort of cultural ostracism – and she is looking for the truth of what is happening. It’s all very Phillip K Dick and so makes for a fascinating concept which Fraser only really skirts around the edge of revealing. Instead he almost leaves people to make up their own minds about why Meredith has been cast out and what will happen to her in this new state. You could almost say that she looks for truth in the same way that the reader does – a theme which we see Fraser use so well in Alex Automatic as well.
While it isn’t always the easiest of reads, it’s one that makes you think about what is happening and reconsider it with multiple reads as you attempt to get a handle on it all. This disorienting world is rendered brilliantly by Sullivan. After the emotional rawness of Barking it’s interesting to see her work in a more ‘genre-specific’ genre. And she does it brilliantly using her distorted and chaotic style perfectly to create this dark near future. The gunky green colour screen evokes memories of old 80s computers while the odd flashes of neon pink help make it feel futuristic at the same time. Her scratchy hand drawn lettering adds a level of depth to this and makes for a really powerful and intriguing read.
We’re unsure whether this is a one shot or the first issue of an ongoing series, however based on this the combination of Campbell’ darks and often disturbing concepts with Sullivan’s equally unsettling artwork this is a really strong pairing that we hope will continue to explore the edges of the human psyche again the future!