“Revolutions don’t happen without risks.”
On a dying Earth in a not-so-distant future, Josiane and René are the first to enter a new virtual world where just about anything is possible… Part dystopian love story, part psychedelic meditation on human nature, “Alt-Life” takes the reader down a mind-bending rabbit hole of desire, loneliness, and self-discovery. (Goodreads)
I did not expect to love this as much as I did. Basically, it’s about a futuristic Adam and Eve tasked with pioneering a virtual reality where the human race can continue to exist long after the Earth has lost all its resources. Probably not the most original plot out there, but the excellent artwork and narrative makes it so unique.
I can describe it as an erotic scifi, and an extraordinary love story. It really takes the concept of open relationships to a whole new level. The sex scenes for me are also effective tools in portraying the shifting cultural and gender roles in the new world.
The book challenges our perception of perfect happiness and contentment: if anything is possible…what then? If you can have everything and anything across multiple universes, how would you know what truly matters? Perhaps our imperfections, insecurities and struggles are what makes us essentially human.
My last thoughts towards the ending: “So this is how gods are born.” and what eventually happens is so surprising but also makes so much sense. I am completely and properly mindblown.
Big thanks to NetGalley and Europe Comics for giving me a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. 🌸
Overall rating: 5/5⭐️
About the authors
French artist Joseph Falzon prepared his entry into the comics world by studying at the renowned Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels. There, he developed a lively and fluid drawing technique, which evolved with his projects. One of his first efforts, Jours de Cendre (2010, Sarbacane), is a silent narrative based on the idea of smoke invading a city, allowing Falzon to experiment with a more charcoaled graphic style. He then met Thomas Cadène during the creation of the bédénovella Les Autres Gens (Dupuis), for which he drew a few episodes. Since then, the two have continued their collaboration on other projects, including in 2018 the graphic novel sensation Alt-Life (Le Lombard; Europe Comics in English), a sci-fi/fantasy tale which has made a splash across the francophone press.
Thomas Cadène, born in 1976, seems to have led dozens of lives. After graduating with a master’s degree in law, he ended up going to work as a warehouse man, and then found a place in the universe of marketing luxury products – before becoming a waiter at a Parisian café. Finally he decided to become an illustrator, launching this career plan by working for wedding magazines. Around this time, he began to surf on the Café Salé internet forum, through which he met some of the cartoonists he would later work with as a writer, as well as Sebastien Vassant, with whom he organized The Smallest and Most Informal Comic Book Festival. He then began work on an ambitious, multifaceted project, mirroring his own life: over the course of two and a half years, he wrote, relentlessly, Les autres gens (Dupuis) – the first “bédénovella” made for the internet. This adventure gave him the opportunity to work with over a hundred illustrators, some of which would go on to become collaborators on other future projects, such as Joseph Falzon, Christophe Gaultier, and Grégory Mardon. Most recently, alongside Falzon, he has created the graphic novel sensation Alt-Life (Le Lombard; Europe Comics in English), a sci-fi/fantasy tale which has made a splash across the francophone press.