Elysium Online: A Review
Quite some time ago, a friend sent me a link to a Greek comic writer and artist’s Indiegogo campaign for a new graphic novel, thinking I’d find it interesting. And given that I love to throw money at things I think are cool ideas, I was plunking down money to help make this comic a reality. The premise is probably what got me the most: imagine in the future, an MMO of sorts where digitized versions of your deceased loved ones exist for you to interact with. “Oh, man, that sounds awesome!” I mean, who doesn’t want to hang out with dead relatives and friends after they’re gone. I know I have a few that I’d love to see again.
Did I mention this was a horror story?
So, mild spoilers ahoy, but here we go.
The story deals primarily with Paul, a programmer for Elysium Online; his sister Anne, who is looking to reconnect with her deceased husband; and Zarya, a young woman going behind her parents back to explore Elysium Online with her dead grandmother. The bulk of the story is set during a timeframe of just a few days right before Elysium is set to go live, and the aftermath of the launch. Set in the near future, nearly everything is online in this world: cars, phones, computers, planes, and so on. THAT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER. So, how is this “horror”? Well… let’s say that you died early, and your personality and traits and memories became embodied in an NPC in WoW. I doubt that your coded avatar self would be happy you weren’t alive for long. And probably even more upset that people still living see you as almost a toy. You’d be pretty pissed off, right? EXACTLY.
For the book itself, it’s rather short, at about 96 pages. But the artwork is beautiful; the colors vibrant; the story interesting. You’re not going to get a lot of back story on the characters, but that’s okay I feel. Because what you get is a brilliant short graphic novel with a really interesting concept. You get a comic not about capes or zombies. You get something that, at least to me, is truly scary because it could be real. Like some Skynet level shit going on.