The Silent Majority

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Aetheric Mechanics

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Aetheric Mechanics

Sax Raker, the main character of Aetheric Mechanics, may seem familiar to you: He is London’s greatest detective, has a Doctor friend (Dr. Robert Watcham), and is a consummate asshole. No, it’s not Sherlock Holmes. At least not just Sherlock Holmes. Sax Raker is equal parts Holmes, Sexton Blake, Solar Pons, and every other fictional London detective that are cheap rip-offs of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic creation.

You’re asking, why do I want read a graphic novella about an amalgamation of Holmes and lesser creations? Because it’s written by Warren Ellis, and it’s bloody brilliant. Moreover, said amalgamation is partly what the story is about, but you would never predict how.

Warren Ellis is known for his approach to big concepts and mind-melting science fiction, and Aetheric Mechanics is no different. It is set in an alternate London, when steam technology gave Britons airships powered by reactionless drives and the fear of invasion from Ruritania grew stronger by the day; Dr. Robert Watcham returns home to London from the war, amidst social hysteria, and visits his good friend Sax Raker, who has just been commissioned for some detective work.

The MacGuffin: A dead body. What does it mean? Oh so many things.

A genre-bending tale of detective fiction, Aetheric Mechanics builds to a stunning, and wholly original conclusion. Ellis’ London is a city on the edge of science, where the relationship between faith and reason is greatly segregated. The art by Gianluca Pagliarani delivers the story cleanly, and with great elegance.

Aetheric Mechanics is 50 pages of wonderful comics. Also, it retails for $6.99. The fact that the book is dirt cheap is not the selling point, however, the content is.

I would have gladly payed quadruple for the Aetheric Mechanics. It’s just that wonderful.

– Alex Lyons

— Alex Lyons studied English and History at the University of Guelph, where he acquired keen insights into late Victorian history, and its literature. This education, of course, serves no purpose here. Alex still lives in Guelph, and thinks of Jack the Ripper often.


Written by thesilentmajoritysays

March 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM

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