REVIEW: ‘.Self,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Self #1 - But Why Tho

.Self #1 is a brand new ComiXology Original series by writer Christopher Sebela, artist Cara McGee, colorist Rebecca Nalty, and letterer Aditya Bidikar. In a near future, new technologies allow humans to upload their every memory and emotion to a cloud called Postscript that can be downloaded into a blank body after your death to let your family have closure. But what if that server was hacked? What chaos might ensue?

From the jump, .Self is a fun exploration of a natural extension to the clones-meet-each-other subgenre of science fiction. With most of our lives living on cloud servers these days, why not literally put our lives on the cloud? Of course, though, no technology is foolproof. Frankly, it’s shocking that something doesn’t go awry sooner or that the characters don’t figure out the cause of their sudden life upheaval more immediately. But with a bit of suspension to your disbelief, it’s easy to get caught up in the story rather quickly. There are clear hints of stories like Orphan Black or Made in Korea, but rest assured that the tone and direction feel totally unique. Plus, as Sebela put it to But Why Tho? in a recent interview, he’s never even seen these other media to bias his writing.

Nat is a pretty solid main character. She begins the story with some major trust issues; coming from a poor family and fighting a lot with her husband, she struggles to even find trust in herself. But when she starts hearing strangers sharing her own secrets out loud and winds up in a fistfight with some others, it becomes quickly apparent that she can’t even trust in the normal order of the universe anymore. Yet, at the same time, she seems determined to make right all the things around her that aren’t, from her job to her relationship to this big mystery around her.

I quite enjoy the art style in .Self as the artist takes an approach not too realistic but not overly stylistic either. It leaves room for lots of intense facial expressions, just as well as exaggerated action panels. The colors accentuate the action with stark, solid red backgrounds while also providing a beautiful sunset blend that instantly distinguishes the scenes from the flashbacks during the present-day panels. The formatting for the panels is also well-suited for the action sequences with rapidly moving and slanted shapes. I particularly appreciate the format’s willingness to change midway to break the fourth wall a bit and provide some backstory on Nat’s life and an explanation of Postscript. The panels here look like they’re being played in a Postscript video file, which is a nice touch. The lettering is done in a nice italicized font that stands out from the standard comic book fonts.

.Self #1 is an exciting start to a series I fully expect to twist and turn through some unexpected, fun places. It easily makes a familiar concept feel modern, new, and thought-provoking.

.Self #1 is available now on ComiXology and Kindle devices.


.Self #1
5

TL;DR

.Self #1 is an exciting start to a series I fully expect to twist and turn through some unexpected, fun places. It easily makes a familiar concept feel modern, new, and thought-provoking.