Changers Book, the #1 (of 2)

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2003
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Changers Book, the #1 (of 2) Creator(s): Ezra Clayton Daniels
Publishers: Dream Chocolate
From: USA
Price: $8.95 (US)

Bisso and Geaza are two single guys who share a flat and a secret. They came to town from the future, Earth's future. They have a job to do: change the path of history so that the highly advanced but stagnated civilization that they came from never comes to pass. They aren't quite sure what they have to do to make this change, but they figure their very presence in the past might just be enough. So they hang out with friends at dance clubs, hip-hop church services and the Sunday market. Little to they know that someone else from the future is looking for them....

There's so much to admire in this book it is hard to know where to start. Ezra illustrates and writes the book all himself. From the quality of both I would guess it took him a fair while to get to this stage. For the artwork Ezra uses a limited grey tone pallet, or more correctly, a blueish/greenish range of tones. This, plus the buff paper stock gives the book a striking appearance. The drawing skills on show are up to the task. Ezra displays an imaginative approach to the visual storytelling. The layouts are inventive, the characters are realistic but have a quality to them that marks them out as not quite normal. The environment they inhabit is busy, lived in, untidy, industrial, normal.

Those of you perhaps put off by the idea of a time traveller tale might be please to know that the SF aspects of the plot take a back seat to the character interactions and development. The two leads are depicted as intelligent but slightly at a loss to know exactly what is going on. When one of them unexpectedly finds an internal organ in their bowel motion he is terrified, but somehow manages to keep things together. The interactions that they have with the "normal people" are very human. They don't want to shock or upset anyone, so they keep a low profile. They enjoy hanging out with friends and neighbours, as they slowly try to understand the society they find themselves in. When one accompanies a friend to church on Sunday morning, he learns something about himself.

The style that Ezra has adopted is more observational than SF. The characters are real people in an unreal situation. This makes the story all the more interesting because you just can't predict where things are going to lead next. In the middle of the planting a piece of future technology the two visitors start mucking around like any two friends might on a night out. There's humour and philosophy and theology all mixed up in this subtle story.

In a Word: Piquant.

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