A new outer world universe premieres in Travis Vengroff’s Liberty: Deception in which an Earth outpost beyond our solar system gets cut off from the rest of humanity. The “civilized” peoples of their world live in the lone city, Atrius, seen in the image above from Volume 1. The urban images are stunning thanks to lead artist Raymund Bermudez and his team. Images like that are often reserved for the cover, but this beauty hides on page 35 among other hidden gems.
But wall art aside, it’s the story here which ensnares. Beyond the borders of this one-city system, are fringe communities deprived of resources in every possible way. Not surprisingly, fringers resort to stealing and less savory activities including cannibalism for survival. [Incidently, the novel I’m reading also depicts a sci-fi cannibalistic culture . . .] This is a fractured community of gangs & gangsters, cultists & sadists, and most of all cannibals. Issue 0 of the series is currently available and depicts but 1 of many gangs. The art in this issue, by Casey Bailey, is even more consistent and mood-setting. I especially enjoy the dialect of Claw’s crew, the Conways:
Also available at this time is the Liberty: Fringe Iconography Guide by Atrius’ professor, Dr. Kovski. The world-building is evident in the inclusion of culture and style guides for the various subgroups. But also impressive is the willingness of Liberty’s creative team’s inclusion of the reader into the world building. Their podcast, Nerdy Show, contains research segments from the fictional Dr. Kovski, too, all in an effort to make the world immersive and multi-media.
However, it is Volume 1 which brings the meat and potatoes to this world. Atrius is under the firm control of Archon Reeve who controls all peoples and media within. Propaganda is rife. The hero of Atrius, Tertulius Justus, is the most decorated citizen in history for his actions in keeping Atrius safe from the dastardly Fringers. He is also a fraud and a construct not unlike Captain America–he’s an actor playing his role at Archon Reeve’s whim until she’s done with him, and the populous is none-the-wiser. Brilliant.
Available now are the podcasts, Issue 0 and the Liberty: Fringe Iconography Guide. Volume 1 is due out in October, but this crew has a kickstarter to aid in production, but also to offer a great way for the fans and supporters to get involved and possibly to even show up on the page as a villain or hero of Atrius.