On his website Now Read This!, Win Wiacek reviews and recommends Graphic Novels. He has just posted a great review of An Android Awakes by Mike French and Karl Brown.
Starting by saying that it’s been a while since looking at anything experimental, he describes An Android Awakes as “an intriguing blend of illustrated book and graphic narrative which has a lot to recommend it”.
Giving an overview of the plot, Win relates how Android PD121928 is down to his last 14 lives and “the tension sends him into a paroxysm of creativity with us carried along on the surprisingly brief and exotic adventures of the pantheon of character-creations that have become so very real to the stressed creator”. He goes on to describe the android’s stories as “carefully crafted and impossibly interconnected”.
Win writes that Mike French’s “beguiling, fantasy-vignette studded account of a creator-in-crisis” is “augmented by and combined with a wealth of raw and jarring monochrome illustrations from Karl Brown”, but adds that unlike many illustrated stories, the pictures are “fully integrated into the text and often supplant the narrative entirely” detailing key moments and with “extended sections of mute sequential art just like the heydays of European sci fi comics or classic 2000AD”.
He concludes with comparisons to Barrington J. Bayley, Christopher Priest and Michael Moorcock, and says that the “tales within tales” have a “splendidly refined and timeless feel as a litany of cool ideas and stand-out characters”. His final assessment: “Smart, challenging and well worth any jaded fantasist’s rapt attention.”
You can read Win’s full review on his website here.