Posted on April 22, 2009 by Flames
Written by James ‘Grim’ Desborough
Art by Darkzel
Published by Postmortem Studios
Faith in the Future is a story told in one issue.
The scenes are pretty well illustrated. Darkzel’s penciling is well done, and he is able to combine his characters with the world they live in.
When I read through the issue, my first thoughts were how the symbolism is very on the nose. Depictions of a ‘pest messiah” crucified on a cross combined with a hunched over capering exterminator leave little to the imagination. The framework of the story deals with absolute images and While the author’s narration helped explain what I had missed, the artwork captures a lot of raw emotion and even without text James Desborough and Darkzel told a very clear story.
The story features two sides; that of a young woman and the pests which live in her home. The woman lives in her world’s version of apartments, and the pests have infiltrated it. The conflict is a very simple one; the dominant life form wants the lower one removed. Where the story gets deeper is how the woman begins to view the pests, and how human and lifelike the pests appear to her. Despite her reservations she calls in an exterminator to help clean up her apartment. This exterminator is quick, efficient, and in the end brutal. She has remorse, he has ruthlessness, and the pests have their innocence.
The woman is beautiful and lives simply, and represents innocence. Her opposite is portrayed in the exterminator; a lanky and shriveled creature in a rubber suit and gas mask, he represents the opposite of the woman. She seems to live in her environment and is at peace with it, while he stands out sharply and towers over it.
The pests are depicted as a cross between humans and the hair troll toys from the 90s. They have large families complete with children and pets, and they have even established their own religion. A little pest pope looks down upon a marketplace where the pests have gathered, and prominent amongst all of them is the cross.
There are two points that Faith is trying to get across. One is how human a group of tiny creatures can be even if they are considered nothing more than vermin, and the other is how blindly some can follow their faith. The pests in the story are intelligent, but only to the others. The woman sees how smart they are but still chooses to call the exterminator, who only sees them as something to be destroyed.
As for religion, the pests seem absolutely devoted to their god. In an echo of Christianity, they follow their version of the messiah to their doom and do not question it until it is too late, and at which point they have no escape. They have crowded their living space and have encroached upon the woman’s food, and very humbly try to protect their children and follow the tenants of their religion even to the end.
The narration was well written, and Desborough’s account of what happened to him somehow makes the comic more grim. It depicts the story from what actually happened in his life and how it affected his thinking, and the parallels he draws between the rats and Catholicism were apt, if a little cut and dry.
Where the comic falters is how it rushes through the story. While it was not the sort of story that would take up more than one issue, for the number of pages involved it felt like it was in a hurry to get to the narration at the end. It could have been a little longer, and the woman’s view on what is happening is overshadowed by the exterminator. While we catch a hint of remorse from her at the end, the artwork brushes over what Desborough felt at the end of his story.
It is an interesting read, and very thought provoking. Whether you agree with the premise of the story or disagree with the morals it portrays, Faith in the Future takes one man’s traumatic memory and shows the world what it meant to him.
Review by John Kennedy