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The Great Divide by Ben Fisher
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The Great Divide

by Ben Fisher

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AUG O8 - I didn't come into this with any pre-conceived ideas; I only knew the story was apocalyptic. I ended up enjoying this very much! It's actually post-apocalyptic and we're set down in the world that hs been suffering the effects for an undetermined amount of time. The tragedy that killed uch large numbers of world populations was an unknown substance (virus, chemical, alien, etc) which made the human touch deadly. Skin to skin contact caused the one who was being touched to basically explode with eyeballs flying. The ragtag group that comes together are wonderers who are coping without touch but after some greater cause such as what caused this eotwawki in the first place. There are several characters to keep track of and the writing is well done to give us plenty of background and a look into their psyches. The art is good in that I found it widely pleasing. This doesn't say it's a volume 1 but the ending leaves us with the notion that a sequel is obvious. ( )
  ElizaJane | Jul 13, 2017 |
A dark and gritty near future dystopia where a mysterious plague has fallen on mankind, where the slightest contact of bare flesh will cause immediate death for one of those being touched, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to who lives or dies. On top of that, the survivor also then carries around in their head the persona of the person they killed. This can sometimes cause madness in the survivor, but some can coexist with their new passenger. Of course, with no physical skin-to-skin contact possible, sex is off-limits but brothels survive, with watching, no touching, rules in place. Isolation becomes the means of survival, but with that isolation also comes the end of the human race. That is, until two unlikely allies possibly discover the cause of the plague, and possibly a means to undo it.

The Great Divide is definitely not for the lighthearted. This is a very grim look at humanity and what happens when all means of physical contact is stripped away. It is a violent, sexualized dystopia that Ben Fisher and Adam Markiewicz give us, but it is still a story about the resilience of the human spirit.

I received an eARC of this title thru NetGalley for a fair and honest review. ( )
  tapestry100 | Jul 5, 2017 |
Death is touching another human being. Skin to Skin contact to be precise. Any touch. A kiss, a hug, a casual touch to the back of the neck.. All of these will kill.

In Ben Fisher's The Great Divide, 'Seperation is Survival', and the Human desire for Community actively works to kill. Paul and Maria are an odd couple, stuck trying to determine if community is worth it, or if the company of a Rider means more that that of the living.

After the barest of touches.. When hemmoraging from the eyes and ears, a life ends painfully but quick in torrents of blood. Within minutes, when death is complete, it is unclear what other trauma occurs during death. The bloody deceased, however, are not gone.

They become a Riders.

Riders are personality, memories, skills, all rolled up and forcefully stuffed into the brain of the person who survived the touch. A Rider can see through the windows, can hear the sounds, but is locked in forever.

You become dyslexic when you have a Rider. On top of the guilt of manslaughter (or outright murder), beyond the insanity of having others in your head, you also lose the ability to read.

The Great Divide, an expanse of human solitude. The Soulbox is the key to crossing the Divide.

Collaboratively, the writing of Ben Fisher and art of Adam Markiewicz are a fine marriage. The pace of the graphic novel and the textures present in the work drive the media home. The amount of world building needed to carry the story was minimal in the end work. I can see where I would have been a bit nutzo had I been reading monthlies though, as the story lends itself well to the overall Graphic format, but would feel patchy if presented in parts.

Some questions popped into my brain as I read this which were loosely answered, but ultimately not well. For example, two people touch, and one dies.. so who touched who? Does it matter? It is much different than the apocalypse happening at midnight, but in what time zone?.. The final answer was simple character hypothesis that it was not a roll of the dice or a matter of timing. Instead, will power alone was described as the probable key to living.

Meh, I suppose that works. Later the story builds a bit to support it, but it felt more than a bit contrived.

The end of the Graphic Novel seems to lead toward a possible continuation and a recent interview with TFAW shows promise for another Arc. Unfortunately, this means more unanswered questions are left on the table than preferred for the time being.

Overall, this work was solid and my wimpy nitpicking is exactly that.

----
If you have a few minutes to spare, here is the interview with the creators via the Things From Another World blog.

https://blog.tfaw.com/2016/08/01/interview-adam-markiewicz-ben-fisher-great-divide/

--
Disclosure: This Graphic Novel was provided for me for review purposes by the publisher. It was kind if them to allow me access and in return I have cancelled the deliveries of PooPourri samples to their individual grand parent's homes. Instead, they will begin to open mailboxes stuffed with requests for me to be added to the inheritance.. I am, after all, a cuddly fat bear of a man. ( )
  JasonBrownPDX | Jul 3, 2017 |
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