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The Surrogates: 1 [Kindle Edition]

Robert Venditti , Brett Weldele
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"The Best Indie Book of the year. Sci-fi tales are making a comeback and The Surrogates is quietly leading the charge." -- IGN

"An absolutely fascinating piece of work -- heartfelt and thoughtful."
-- Fantasy & Science Fiction

"Good science fiction is hard to come by, but Venditti’s blend of technology, crime drama and social commentary makes for the most original sci-fi mythology in years."-- Wizard Magazine

"Robert Venditti delivers an impressive comics debut."-- SFX

"A resplendently grimy commentary."-- Entertainment Weekly

The year is 2054, and life is reduced to a data feed. The fusing of virtual reality and cybernetics has ushered in the era of the personal surrogate, android substitutes that let users interact with the world without ever leaving their homes. It's a perfect world, and it's up to Detectives Harvey Greer and Pete Ford of the Metro Police Department to keep it that way. But to do so they’ll need to stop a techno-terrorist bent on returning society to a time when people lived their lives instead of merely experiencing them.

The Surrogates is a story about progress and whether there exists a tipping point at which technological advancement will stop enhancing and start hindering our lives. It is also a commentary on identity, the Western obsession with physical appearance, and the growing trend to use science as a means of providing consumers with beauty on demand.

This volume collects all five issues of the acclaimed comic book series. Packed with bonus content, inside you will find never-before-seen sketches and artwork, as well as commentary from the creative team that brought this breakout story to the page.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 64611 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (10 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #445,816 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what i-robit should have been 26 Oct. 2007
A simple visceral detective story, with a poignant ans sharp dialogue with deceptively simple, beautiful visuals. I spent 10 minutes telling my girlfriend how good this was last night, and was prepared to cope with the blank stares.........its that good!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spare and full of impact 2 Oct. 2007
By Richard Hammond VINE VOICE
I like comics. I like how great illustration doesn't do your imagination's work for you but instead opens up windows on imagined worlds. Read a great comic and you sort of fall into that reality, you visit that place and though the story is your imagination gets to fill-in the rest of the space. Surrogates does that wonderfully well - you find yourself falling away into a potential, believable, future and it feels great. Story: life-like bots used by humans to have their life experiences for them... ooh they'll be trouble.
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5.0 out of 5 stars powerfully provocative of the intellect. 13 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Still reading comics at my age (post50), i found this to be gripping and intelligent. The construction was different in a great way, drawing one closer into the future world which seems so perilously close. Definitely a book for older minds but highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Southern Comic 18 Jan. 2008
By John Ottinger III - Published on
"Life...Only Better," says the slogan of VSI, maker of surrogates. And who wouldn't want to improve their life, to make it better, or to make it what they had always dreamed it should be? Such is the basis for the science fiction graphic novel The Surrogates. Written by Robert Venditti, with art direction by Brett Weldele, this novel brings a unique take on the established rules of science fiction.

The future world created by Venditti has a great deal of potential. In creating the concept of the surrogate, Venditti has shown that even when race and gender are no longer factors in decisions, our innate prejudices still rise to the top. Additionally, remove race and gender as social factors, and you are left with religion. While the religion in The Surrogates is extreme and cultic Christianity, it could just has easily have been any other religion's fanatics. For the location and time frame of the story, Christianity makes the most sense.

I also found it daring to set the story in Georgia rather than the traditional big cities of New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. Those cities have been used often, their unique cultures explored through science fiction. Science fiction has failed to tap into the strange and unique culture that is the Southern States. In doing so, The Surrogates has broken new ground. The story has found ample material for evaluating existing culture, and challenging our preconceptions.

The Surrogates is a fine graphic novel, and I hope that Venditti continues to write in this world. I recommend this book to all science fiction fans, cultural theorists, and comic book fans. The artwork is provocative, the story compelling, and the setting unique.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marching Through Georgia indeed. 27 Jan. 2010
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, The Surrogates (Top Shelf, 2006)

It is by now a Hollywood cliché, not to mention a Hollywood truism, that the book is better than the movie. And that is certainly the case where The Surrogates is concerned. That said, in some ironic way, reading Robert Venditti's original source material gave me a slightly greater respect for Jonathan Mostow's bloated, listless adaptation. I can see why he made the changes he made, and some of them I actually agree with. (The two big ones, as it turns out, were direct contributors to the movie's downfall, to the point where I may actually go back and revise my review to include a discussion of them.)

If you saw the movie trailers, you've got a basic idea, but I'll give you a rundown anyway: it's 2054, and the world is populated by human beings who live vicariously through androids known as surrogates. The human flops down in a chair, puts on a headset, and bam, virtual reality. Surrogates work for their owners (allowing the out-of-shape to be construction workers, say), drink and do drugs for their owners (all the sensation with none of the withdrawal symptoms), have illicit affairs for their owners, etc. You get the idea. 92% of the world's humans, we're told, own and use surrogates. The rest are not too happy with this. In the metro Atlanta area where the book takes place, the head of the non-surrogate-using humans, known as the Dreads, is The Prophet, a mover and shaker in the anti-surrogate riots of 2039 who eventually agreed with the mayor of Atlanta that he and his Luddite pals needed to move out of Atlanta to a reservation seventy miles away. All of what I'm giving you here is setup for the actual plot, which involves two surrogates who we see being fried in the opening scene, and the two detectives assigned to the case.

While no one would call The Surrogates a subtle book, in comparison to the movie it's like a velvet glove. The main reason for this is that the movie changes the book anti-consumer message to something far more muddled, yet far closer to the surface (in the movie, the deaths of the surrogates travels back over the wires to kill their owners, which changes the whole nature of the movie's plot). Venditti also has some strong words about addiction which are cut, rather brutally I might add, out by the changing of a few key scenes. They are the book's most powerful (especially Venditti's final panel), and the movie's weakest. That Mostow failed miserably in his attempt to bring The Surrogates to the screen, and that the changes made to it were exactly the wrong ones, does not make Hollywood any less respectable for at least trying to take a very good, if transparent, indie piece and being it to the masses. It gives me some small version of hope that someone in Hollywood still actually cares about art. *** ½
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent science fiction 11 Feb. 2009
By Digital Puer - Published on
The Surrogates is an excellent science fiction short story that happens to be a graphic novel. The plot is compelling with a well-crafted premise that extends traditional "cyberspace" works (such as the worlds created by William Gibson and P.K. Dick, as well as The Matrix), but this new space is a virtual reality based on remotely-controlled androids. The author touches on issues related race, religion, and what it means to "live" as a human. Every dialog line is well-written, and both the protagonists and antagonists are believable and worthy of empathy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Like the Movie At All 13 Dec. 2009
By Joshua Palmatier - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I decided to buy and read "The Surrogates" because, of course, the movie was coming out soon and it had Bruce Willis in it, and I've lately been drawn into the graphic novel universe. So I said, why not? I've read a few other graphic novels and the concepts presented in this one were interesting.

First off, the graphic novel is significantly different from the movie, so you should probably read it even if you have already seen the movie. It starts off with the same initial setup--some surries get zapped and detectives are there to investigate--but pretty much from that moment on it diverges from the movie. Characters are the same, but they don't do what they did in the movie, tec. So read the novel, it's worth it.

The storyline is definitely interesting and pulls you along, weaving the actual detective work together with the life of the main detective, Greer. You find out about his relationship with his wife and how the introduction of the surrogates--androids that the user controls and that pretty much act out everyone's daily life for safety reasons--has altered society and interpersonal relationships to a huge extent. The main idea of the surrogates is what kept me interested in the novel, although the plotline about who's zapping surrogates and why also drew me in. The ramifications on every aspect of society if we did ever reach a point where the majority of the population lived their lives through surrogates is . . . astounding. And that's why this graphic novel rocks.

It's also why it's slightly disappointing. There are so many aspects of life that would change that what was presented in the novel seemed . . . limited. I loved the story and the novel, but when I was finished I felt that there was SO MUCH MORE to explore with this concept and I was disappointed that there wasn't more, a volume 2 or something. I know there's a prequel, and I will definitely read that, but I seriously hope that there will be more set in this world in the future because there is so much more left to explore.

Since this is a graphic novel, I must also comment on the artwork: spectacular. The artwork was subtle and appropriate and a perfect amalgamation of art and photoshopping, especially regarding some of the SF elements that were incorporated into the artwork, such as realistic digital screens and such. At the same time, the artwork was extremely simple. The level of detail was appropriate and minimalistic, as well as the color palette. Some panels were sketchy and blocky, others were more finely detailed, and the ability of the artist to convey complex emotions through facial expression and such was astounding.

So, overall a very good graphic novel, the only drawback being that the world created had SO MUCH potential that I felt there should have been much more done in this universe and with this plotline, so was disappointed when the novel ended. I'd love to see more from this pair, and even if you've seen the movie, I'd definitely suggest reading the novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COMPELLING . . B TO B PLUS 5 Oct. 2010
By MISTER SJEM - Published on
Better than the movie and also a better ending that feels right for the tone. The advertisements for surrogates and the like really help mold the story. Based on a popular graphic novel. Artwork is dark and mysterious. There's a section in back about how to write a scene for a comic book as well. WHEN READ: September 2010; MY GRADE: B to B plus (not for non comic book fans).
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