Digital Comics…Reviewed! (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1
Philip K. Dick (story)
Tony Parker and Blond (artwork)
Available On: BOOM! Studios App, ComiXology, iVerse
Price: 1.99

So I’ve never seen all of Blade Runner, despite its reputation as one of cinema’s most influential and enduring sci-fi pictures…

I’ve been really meaning to—it’s in my Netflix streaming account, and probably four years back, a co-worker gave me a DVD of the laser disc version of the film, that I’ve hung onto through three separate moves. Here’s part of the problem though—there are too many cuts of the movie out there in circulation. Don’t know exactly which of the five or so is considered to be the “definitive” version, and seriously, part of me wants to watch every version and make my own determination. So I haven’t been actively avoiding watching this one movie…more like finding the perfect time to watch five.

With all this in mind, when BOOM! announced they’d be serializing the entire source material in comic form, I raised a curious eyebrow. Could that approach possibly work? Would the density of the text threaten to completely overwhelm the artwork? And when they say word for word, do they really mean it? After reading the free preview, then immediately buying the remainder of the first issue through BOOM’s own app on iPad, I can safely say the answer to all three of those questions is yes. And offers another perfect example of the possibilities for digital comics—I’ve been wanting to check this out since it was announced, but just couldn’t afford to add it to a shrinking monthly budget. $1.99 is a much easier buy-in, and I’ll take it one chapter at a time naturally, but there’s a great chance I’ll finish this out completely in digital form, and then dive into all five (or so) versions of the movie.

Couple reasons why—-firstly, I find the whole publishing experiment interesting. It would be a more obvious (and possibly safer) move to simply adapt the original story into a mini-series, and sell it to comics fans and retailers in a format they were more accustomed to. Instead, they’re preserving every word of the original text, and molding a cool comic around it, which takes a certain degree of guts that I can definitely appreciate. And because of this, the book takes a good long time to read through, which makes the $1.99 price point even more of an unbeatable bargain.

So you get the entire source material unaltered, yet cleverly interpreted through our favorite medium, offering almost a half hour of reading pleasure for only two bucks an issue? Not even taking into account how glorious the whole package looks on the iPad, this sounds like a no-brainer to me.

And maybe…just maybe when I’m through with the entire series, I’ll find some time to watch every cut of the movie it inspired, and decide just which one I like the best. Until then—got a little more reading to do…

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