The Seeds #1
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Dark Horse
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
The Seeds #1 opens up with a journalist named Astra talking to and snapping photos of people talking about their loved ones who have jumped a wall over into Zone B, where people have abandoned all technology to do…we don’t know yet. Meanwhile, Lola is hooking up with a mysterious man who finds her mean but intriguing. Their paths intersect, and Astra gets the story of a lifetime when she finds out that this man is not of this world.
There’s a lot to unpack from The Seeds, and all of this from the very first issue. It offers a lot of commentary from questionable journalism ethics to over-reliance on technology to abusing the planet’s resources. Since I was a journalism major in college, I was particularly interested in the discussion on journalism and telling false stories that end up sticking anyway—which happens a whole lot more often than it should. But that was just one aspect of the comic, and it feels like I’ll need a couple more read throughs to fully comprehend what’s going on.
The narrative structure is not the most straightforward, but it seems to be fitting for the overall feel of this book. There are times where it almost feels like a stream-of-consciousness, Ulysses-type of story. But the world that Nocenti and Aja created is full of distractions and messes, so when the magpie-looking birds randomly interject dialogue into the story, it seems par for the course.
The artwork also fits the story quite well in that it feels like you were stumbling along in a long-abandoned nuclear test site and found this book. It’s somewhat abstract but clear enough to see what’s going on. And you don’t get more colors than whites and blacks and a desert fatigue shade of green.
Verdict: Buy it.
The Seeds #1 is not one of those books that you can passively read, but it’s full of social commentary that I’m sure will hit different readers in different ways. And that, to me, is what good art does. I’m curious to see what more this four-part series has to offer.