Story: Mathew Klickstein
Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Colors: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
It’s a literal trip of an issue when Lyla and Kadunud imbibe psilocybin during the diabolical children’s talent show…that turns deadly for the audience. The psychedelic state Lyla finds herself in leads to flashbacks about how she became who she is today and why she is such a seeker of truth in a world of growing chaos.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The tale of the children and how they’ve mastered the game of life in their own way has been an interesting read to be sure. The setting has worked well for it, Lyla as a focal point and our entry into this world has had some good layers to her, and while the real results of what the children are up to are still obscured to some degree, it has all the right techno-fear elements to it. Evgeniy Bornyakov has captured the locale well with a place that has a lot of history and has seen a lot of change in an effort to find the right way to live. There’s something about it that definitely clicks because of that and how it impacts the characters themselves. And Lauren Affe always delivers a great looking book and the color work done here really helps to elevate it since there are so many neat hooks for her to use.
The problem that Lyla has at this point is that she really is this close to understanding what’s going on and is being forced into being an active participant. That goes against her journalistic side for obvious reasons but it also goes against who she is as a person as she grasps the kind of Logan’s Run aspect of what the children have created. The big show that was put on in the theater for the town was supposed to have her use the app in order to beta test taking down a group but she was so out of it on the shrooms and reluctant in general that she couldn’t participate. It only really helped in that Kad took her own and the two of them engaged in some pretty mindblowing sex that got her to realize just how much she’s come to care for him.
Which, naturally, leads to the unsurprising reveal that the leader of the children is his daughter, reminding us why he goes along with everything overall. Lyla’s past is explored a bit amid all of this, once she’s back in control of herself a bit more, and it ties into why she thinks she was brought here as she has the old school sense of right and the need to know that she herself is right. Of course, the children have intervened because she can’t actually have a moment of happiness or understanding and they’re intent on getting her to work the device as they truly need the data from it and for her to understand what it means to be in that position when she rights the story. The way the tension rises with all of this and the more that Lyla panics internally, the more intense it gets and really sets the tone well.
You Are Obsolete looks at some interesting ideas as it goes on here, especially the changing nature of journalism over the late 2000s as social media began to replace a lot of it. Klickstein has no problem in calling out those behind it and with the host of things we’ve learned in the years since it’s hard to not give the whole book a side-eye in general. I like the way the book unfolds and how Lyla is handling herself – basically getting worse and worse as it goes along – and it definitely feels like the stakes are incredibly high. But at the same point I really just want to see what the kids are working on to go big and wide with all the ramifications that come from it.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: December 11th, 2019