Comics and Gonzo Journalism

I got the two first volumes of the graphic novel, Transmetropolitan. The graphic novel is cyberpunk themed set in a distant and -once again- dystopian future, filled with dark humor. The story is about the writings and adventures -or misadventures- of Spider Jerusalem, the most interesting character I've read in recent years.

Spider Jerusalem is a fearless gonzo journalist -armed with the truth, a typewriter, and a bowel disruptor- that scratches the society’s surface to expose all the crap hidden underneath it. Together with an odd company that he keeps around: a gecko-hunting, three-eyed, two-headed mutant cat that smokes unfiltered cigarettes, and an ex-stripper that acts as his bodyguard and student of journalism, they fight the corruption to make their city a better place.

The first volume, Back in the Streets, featured of how Spider, a mountain hermit at the start of the story, came back to the city to write a book and avoid the pending lawsuit that was thrown at him by his publisher. The second volume, Lust for Life, revolves around, the exaggerated truth and ridiculousness, of religion, television, and preservation (cultural and body). It was a bit dragging but it really paints the atmosphere of a dystopian society.

I believe that most things in the graphic novel, like in most dystopian fiction, could happen in a distant future. The world will, eventually, become smaller with faster travel and better communications. Thus, assimilating different cultures and creating new ones. New religious factions and sects will sprout everywhere. Some might be real, some are for power, and most for money. Ad-wares will not stop in our e-mails and phones but will finally haunt us even in our dreams.

Transmetropolitan was a fun read, and I definitely plan to complete all ten volumes. I laughed my guts out at Spider’s insane rhetoric and eccentric personality. Yet, it also made me realize that if we don’t do something now, our future would be grimmer and more fucked up than the present, very much like in Transmetropolitan.