Utopiates is a stunningly beautiful graphic novel with a strong story for the speculative fiction / sci-fi crowd. The artwork by Josh Finney and Kat Rocha deserves a special call out as it goes above and beyond in its layouts that refuse to be hemmed in–each page figuratively representing the psychologically compromised narration and twisting levels of reality. The cover art just doesn’t do the internal art justice.
The four chapters follow 3 addicted users of utopiates all beholden to the same dealer. Their dealer, the cross between The Matrix’s Morphius and Trinity with an asymmetrical haircut seen on the cover, hides behinds her epithets [“Spooky Bitch” and “The Prophet”] and her bible-quote laden orations. Utopiates are designer genetic drugs that hijack one’s consciousness with that of another.
The first user is alone in the world. He’s addicted to the “Family” strain that imbues a sense of belonging. The second addict has been dropped from his service as a soldier-for-hire with a government contract agency, Intersec, that has taken on the global war on terror. Intersec uses soldier strains of utopiates in lieu of actual training. The third addict is an ex-Amish lesbian, her whole story hasn’t fully emerged. All three are willing to kill for the Spooky Bitch and ultimately their next utopiates fix . . .