Title: Romantically Apocalyptic
Author: Vitaly S. Alexius
Start Date: 2009
Genre: Sci-fi, dark comedy
Update Schedule: Saturdays
Sometime in the future, excessive radioactive pollution has transformed the Earth’s biosphere, causing plant and animal mutations and transforming it into a decaying wasteland known as the Dead Zone. 99% of humanity has escaped from the literal Hell outdoors by moving into large domes and remaining connected to the Internet 24/7 to a large machine, ANNET (“Annie”), which had become sentient over time and, due to an accident and sabotage with the servers, caused it to go berserk and nearly wipe out or zombify humanity. To make matters worse, the remaining 1% who can’t use ANNET have difficulty sleeping due to dreams becoming copyrighted (yes, seriously) by the world’s largest corporation, leading to headaches and occasional nightmares.
The story centers around a military squad joined with the 1%–Captain, Charles “Sniper” Snippy, Pilot, and Alexander “Engie/Engineer” Gromov–who launch a nuclear strike on ANNET and have to deal with nightmares, time travel, and the horrors of the Dead Zone.
Recommended Age Group: 12 and up, mainly due to language.
The artwork is absolutely outstanding! Alexius is a professional photographer who takes pictures of models and actors and morphs them into beautiful compositions with PhotoShop. This is one of the best uses of the software I’ve ever seen.
It may be hard to follow along with the story for some readers. The comic has a tendency to blur the line between dreams and reality, so the writing is very mind-screwy and not exactly a clear-cut adventure. I had trouble following the story myself, and I actually had to consult a Wiki just to make heads or tails of everything. After reading through it, the details still aren’t exactly clear.
I give this comic a wholehearted recommendation. If you’re a fan of stories with apocalyptic settings, the psychology of dreams, or just want to look at stunningly gorgeous art, this comic is definitely up your alley! Just be prepared to pay attention, or you may get lost and have to reread through the archives or the Wiki I provided above.