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Review: Transience: An Unforgettable Anthology

Transience.PNGTransience is set in a world where biological attacks have left large swathes of the population with anterograde amnesia – the inability to form new memories. It’s like 50 First Dates with less terrible Adam Sandler jokes and more existential crises. In the seven stories of Transience, we look at different people in different parts of the world as they deal with the effects of this at varying numbers of years after the event. Each story features at least one creator from the country it’s set in.”

The concept behind this graphic novel had me hooked within moments of opening the email. The very idea of a terrorist attack that nobody will ever remember is brilliantly horrifying, and allows some brilliant individual stories to be told.

Transience is the kind of anthology that feels as though every writer was on the same page when creating the story. The review copy I read was 65 pages including the cover, and in an uncharacteristic move, I read through the entire pdf in one sitting (I actually had to read it twice because I finished my first run through at 2am last night and promptly fell asleep) ignoring my cup of tea the entire time. Every story left me wanting more, which is unusual for an anthology collection as I find that there’s typically at least one dude – that’s not the case here.

The visual style of each story varies, but there’s a consistency in the sparse use of colour as each story is either black and white, or there’s an additional shade or two added. While this may have been a cost saving choice (or stylistic) choice, it has the effect of tying the various art styles together within the overarching concept of the anthology.

When reading these stories, I was struck by the underlying current of hope laced into the general sense of despair that lifts from the page. As I previously mentioned, there isn’t a dud story here; the writing is fantastic, and the visual story telling capabilities of the artists allows the writers to keep expositionary dialogue largely to a minimum – though I sure the easy to understand concept helps with that. The copy I read wasn’t completely finished (there were a couple of plain intro pages that were just black words on text), but I’m told that this won’t be the case in the final version (honestly, were the pages left as they are, then it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world).

This was a fantastic collection of stories, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to you. Especially for $4 if you back the Kickstarter.

Now excuse me while I go hop on the emotional roller coaster and read them again.

Story: Various Art: Various
Stories: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy was provided a FREE copy for review. I have also contributed to one of Leo Johnson’s previous works, the digital comics magazine Stuck In The Gutters, but have no stake in this anthology.