line morally, how far you would go for your passion in life, who or what you think is expendablefor a safer society and what all of this says about you- you wont have to look any farther than thefirst page to be prompted to ask these things of yourself.The writing is brilliant and layered, leaving enough room for conversations and events tobe open to the reader’s interpretation while also managing to take highly complex concepts of psychology and sociology and explain them clearly and succinctly. The story is unique andthough it is fiction it’s also eerily relevant and very current in several different areas of psychology and neuropathology today. It’s clearly very well researched with an attention todetail and focus on accuracy that even extends into the background of the artwork.I would say that the art of David Marquez is visually equal in detail and ingenuity to thewriting of Mr. Ryan and Mr. Quantz. All of the artwork in SYNDROME is digital and was doneentirely with Photoshop and a Cintiq drawing tablet, a fact that I was not aware of until I hadfinished reading it. At the end of the book there is a brief description from the artist outlining hiscreative process and describing step-by-step how the illustrations of SYNDROME came to be,along with personal bits of insight about working with the writers, the pros and cons of goingdigital, and some of the real-life places used in the book. I really appreciated that consideringthat my artistic eye is about as discerning as Helen Keller’s and I seriously would never haveknown that it was entirely digital.I very much enjoyed the opulence of certain parts of the artwork. The wrinkles in a sheet,a glass of gin, blood spatter covering a wall; all of them drew your eye and one couldn’t help butappreciate the beauty of even the most grotesque scene. Paired with the undeniable skill of colorist Bill Farmer, former assistant to renowned colorist David Stewart (Greendale, TheUmbrella Academy, Fray) and current freelance talent as of January 2010, Marquez created theperfect visual counterpart to the world of SYNDROME.It is my understanding that artist and authors worked very closely together and that thelatter had highly specific ideas about what they wanted so I’m not entirely sure who to creditwith the fantastic amount of care and planning that I can see went into all aspects of the artwork.There is so much contributing detail to take in, like the lab equipment in the background withcorresponding depictions of results, that like me, most people will probably discover somethingnew each time they read through it. There’s also no shortage of well executed visual symbolism-both subtle and overt.Oh, and there’s a decent amount of T&A too.Which brings me to my only major complaint: that some of the drawings of the womenare just
on the unrealistic side. I know, I can hear the accusations that I’m a hairy,sexually repressed, uber-feminist who’s probably a man-hating lesbian forming already. I assureyou that I usually I don’t have a problem with foregoing realism for the sake of aesthetics in mycomic book chicks. But seriously? Some drawings of Karen Oats strike me as teetering on theline of the ridiculous. From some measurements I took off of one depiction, assuming she wasabout 5 foot 9 Ms. Oats would have proportions somewhere around 22-15-24. That makesBarbie’s mere 36-18-33 seem positively portly in comparison! But to be fair I’m not an artist. Idon’t understand things like angles and positioning and ratios that are the most visuallystimulating. I’m just saying that at times I can imagine her with eyes 10x larger and a mouth 10xsmaller and calling herself Sailor Moon.And for the record I am NOT a hairy, sexually repressed, uber-feminist, man-hating, lesbian.I both shave and wax regularly, thank you very much!