2020 Visions – Lust For Life – Delano/Quitely

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2020 Visions – Lust For Life – Delano/Quitely
Books & Comic Books
Written by Kaustubh Thirumalai
Thursday, 03 January 2008 23:37
Transmetropolitan fans like me (more like devotees) should gobble this up with no problems whatsoever. There’s no doubt in my mind though, that Jamie Delano (Hellblazer) was surely influenced by the Ellis opus. Frank Quitely (We3, New X-Men) does an awesome job of emulating the same futuristic feel that exudes from Darick Robertson’s phenomenal work in Transmetropolitan. Delano is quite the Ellis as well – quirky, vulgar, hilarious. Anyhow, this isn’t a comparison of the two comics, by any means, but I just wanted to make it clear that the fans of Transmetropolitan will dig this. Oh, and this one’s put out by Vertigo as well.Before I jump into the Lust For Life arc, let me drop some knowledge on the Visions 2020 series. In totality there are 12 issues, divided into 4 arcs of three issues each. Delano is the sole writer, but there are different artists for each arc. Now what is unique about this is that, the arcs are interconnected, yet very different from each other. Plus, each arc is written in a different style – horror (Lust For Life), crime (La Tormenta), western (Renegade), romance (Repro-Man). Actually, all these elements are found in each one, but the arcs do predominantly fall under a particular genre.Lust For Life is set in New York City (these writers can find NO other place huh?) in the year 2020 (doi!). The city is divided into two zones – one where the rich dwell, and the other, filthier, unhealthier place where all the nobodies stay. The poverty stricken people have no say in the City’s governance and what the affluent say goes. Lust For Life chronicles the story of Alex Woycheck, baby boomer, senior citizen and a generic nobody who has lead quite an interesting life, but loathes his present one because of the well off and power hungry people of the city (he’s like Spider Jerusalem, but older!). On one normal, lousy day of his burdensome life our senior walks down the road to the local market to buy some porn and score some dope (very routine eh?). Meanwhile, a deranged vagabond jumps from a tall building which is just above the marketplace and falls to his death, in all his splendor. As his body hits the hard concrete, blood gushes out everywhere and splatters everyone. The people who are touched by his blood get infected with some sort of apocalyptic plague which causes people to bleed out of their skin and to start to have fits of uncontrollable lust coupled with pain; Alex one of them. Totally disoriented, the disease gets to him, and he unwillingly infects his ex-girlfriend Zandra – porn industry overlord, neo-lesbian and Class A bitch whom Alex still loves. Now the plot becomes all sorts of complicated as he gets thrown into a Government Disinfection asylum and she joins him there after a couple of days. As Alex sees masses of populace dying, he, on the other hand, somehow wards off the disease and starts to actually enjoy getting those fits. He then churns out a plan to inflict all the hatred that he has stored for the power-seekers by uniting all the plagued folk and infecting the rich part of town.

Well, if the story didn’t convince you cyberpunk fans to get a hold of this, I don’t know what will. The plot is quite riveting and the dialogue is intelligent and eccentric enough to keep you glued to your seats. Mr. Delano tells a complex tale in a very, very multifaceted manner, intermingled with sardonic humour and smug rants, which all add up to a very comprehensible and interesting read. Mr. Quitely’s artwork is meticulous, vivid and grubby, which makes for a marvelous combination. The only qualm I had with this comic was the somewhat (STRESS on somewhat) unsatisfactory ending, but that just made me yearn more for the next arc. This has the Kvltsite Stamp of Approval. Ooh Yeah.

Recommended Music:
The comic has a dark, cynical atmosphere, almost mechanical save for the bouts of humour. Hence, I decided to count on my trusted Dark Ambient collection again for a pleasant music+comic experience. And just like that, when I popped in Sanctum’s New York City Bluster and SPK’s Byzantine Flowers , the whole reading experience was elevated to a new level.