Story & Letters by: Sam Roads Art by: Kat Nicholson
Sam Roads, following on from his debut feature Kristo, is back with the first in a four issue tale called Silicon Heart. Set in the not-too-distant future, we are introduced to Jan in the initial set up – she’s the third wheel type girl, in the midst of sharper, popular girls – basically, she’s a seal pup surrounded by sharks. What starts off as social commentary from the view of teen life, replete with a full supporting cast, swiftly evolves into something darker, and very relevant to our times – to all times. Namely: difference. In this future world of Silicon Heart there’s the option for families to add synthetic family members, these are the Sy-Bs. While in the first instance we witness the typical ‘round peg, square hole’ that is Jan in her awkward life – home/school, it’s pretty much the same for her, when we get deeper into the story we go to a very different layer. As with Kristo, Sam’s writing has an assured quality that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from someone on their second venture. He is also not afraid to mix it with some powerful themes. In counterpoint to the subject matter of the story, we have Kat Nicholson’s gentle art. While the line art could have been represented with a number of different styles, Kat’s panels suite the story nicely. Having read the first issue, having become acquainted with Jen and Rho, it is hard to picture them any other way.
Silicon Heart #1 is a smooth introduction in to the story. Jen and Rho, along with the supporting cast, are well depicted, we ‘get’ their characters. The themes of ‘the outsider’ and ‘prejudice’ pull no punches, though there is no vitriol from Sam, the antagonists are shown for what they are, without malice from the author. As the plot of Silicon Heart evolved through the first issue, it leads the reader nicely into the next phase of the story. With the growing friendship between the central characters, with the prejudice of society around them, this story can only become more involving, more interesting and with the creative team involved, it is bound to be good stuff!