Comic books and anime are relatively new to me but art is not and the art is what drew me to this book immediately. The pictures are well executed and intriguing, ranging from gorgeously rendered art nouveau to playful anime and back again, often within the same page. The pictures alone make it worth the price of purchase.The God Machine tells the story of teenager Guy Salvatore who is suffering what seems to be a mental break down following the death of his girlfriend, Sith. The story is told both from Guy’s point of view and from the point of view of Good God (Gee-Gee for short) who is portrayed as a one of many gods. She’s a regular working girl, just trying to make in the universe. Both Guy and Good God are looking for answers about Sith’s death and Guy’s slow descant into the dream world/madness and as they both investigate their paths get closer and closer.
The human characters are all deeply goth high schoolers and Chandra Free writes about the goth scene with the loving piss-taking of someone who has been deeply involved in the scene herself. But despite occasionally poking fun at her characters, the story of true love separated by death and the cold materialistic world that just doesn’t understand is very much a goth kid’s dream. Although the story contains nudity, profanity and adult situations this feels like very much a young adult story. As I said, the human characters are all high school students and the gods in the story speak and act very much the same way.
I picked this book up because of the artwork but the story was well written enough to keep me reading. I didn’t realize from the cover that this was only the first volume of the story and I was taken aback when the story abruptly ended just as it looked like we were going to start to figure out what was really going on. I look forward to seeing the plot develop in the next installment but unfortunately I will have to wait until sometime in 2012-2013 for that one to come out.
This book was discussed in Episode Three of The Charlie Tonic Hour.