You know him from all of his excellent contributions to The Line it is Drawn over the last couple of years, and now Joshua Gowdy has a brand-new comic book out TODAY from MonkeyBrain Comics! It is called Skinned and it is a fascinating tale about a world where optical illusions are the rule of the day and the elite get to see the world as they choose to see it. But what happens when one young heiress decides to see the world beyond? Read on to see some preview pages from the comic book, which is on sale RIGHT NOW!
The book opens with this cool schematic...
The comic is written by Tim Daniel and Jeremy Holt and it begins with the birth of a royal baby...
As you can see, the optical implants (occupye) allow people to change their surroundings as they see fit, all controlled by a powerful artificial intelligence known as IRIS. Lady Aldair, though, has a problem with the idea of giving ourselves over completely to technology. In addition, it is likely not a coincidence that the implants are called "occupye," as the division between classes is extremely heightened in the world of Skinned, as the elite like Aldair's family have complete control over how they get to perceive their own reality while the lower classes have to barter and trade to get upgrades to fantasies while living in squalor. It is out of this squalor that we meet Buoy, a young programmer who we see hacking IRIS's code and, for a time, taking control of his own surroundings.
Buoy has been chosen as an option for a "Life-Extra" ceremony. I don't know exactly what it means, but it seems like it is something to do with playing a part in the life of Lady Aldair. IRIS, though, of course has already chosen someone for Aldair, but she flips the script and chooses Buoy, which sets our adventure on its way.
It's an intriguing premise, but really, what sells the comic is Josh's art. I've long been accustomed to Josh's broad imagination and his striking color palette and these serve him well on Skinned, as so much of the comic is based on design and on color. The way that the comic shifts from one reality to another at the drop of a hat requires so much of Josh and he absolutely nails it. You can see it just from the sample pages - the blend between grittiness and beauty is striking. His facial expression work evokes the best of Mike Allred and Paul Pope. It's great stuff.
The comic is just a buck on Comixology. Go buy it now here!