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Beta Testing the Apocalypse

Details for this: Book
Author: Tom Kaczynski
Format: Softcover
Pages: 136
Dimensions: 6.5" x 9.25"
Colors: duotone throughout
Year: 2013
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-541-9
Additional Details: Flexibound covers

Price: $19.99

 


Eisner Award Nominee Seal2014 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Publication Design

Selected by Geneviève Castrée for her "best of 2013" list at Indie Street

A Comics Grinder Guide to Graphic Novels 2013 selection

Ranked #20 on Rob Clough's Best of 2013: Top 25 Long-Form Comics at High-Low

It would be easy to call Tom Kaczynski the J.G. Ballard of comics. Like Ballard, Kaczynski’s comics riff on dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments. Yet while Kaczynski shares many of Ballard’s obsessions, he processes them in unique ways. His visual storytelling adds an architectural dimension that the written word alone lacks.

Kaczynski takes abstract ideas — capitalism, communism, or utopianism — and makes them tangible. He depicts and meditates on the immense political and technological structures and spaces we inhabit that subtly affect and define the limits of who we are and the freedom we as Americans presume to enjoy. Society and the individual, in perpetual tension. Once you’ve read Kaczynski’s comics, it should come as no surprise to learn that he studied architecture before embarking on a career as a cartoonist.

Beta Testing includes approximately 10 short stories, most notably "The New," a brand new story created expressly for this book. It’s Kaczynski’s longest story to date. "The New" is set in an unnamed third-world megalopolis. It could be Dhaka, Lagos or Mumbai. The city creaks under the pressure of explosive growth. Whole districts are built in a week. The story follows an internationally renowned starchitect as he struggles to impose his vision on the metropolis. A vision threatened by the massive dispossessed slum-proletariat inhabiting the slums and favelas on the edges of the city. From the fetid ferment of garbage dumps and shanties emerges a new feral architecture.

10-page excerpt (download 2.8 MB PDF):

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):



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