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Among The Chosen (ATC) is a planned seven book graphic novel cycle written, modeled, rendered, pencilled, inked, shaded and lettered by Daniel H. ATC is - superficially - the story of the seven magicians who, at some point in the distant past, all but destroyed the human race. At least that is what the about page indicates. So far the story has detailed a small skirmish in the larger cold war between the Mega Corp Heirotus and its paramilitary nemesis, the Templar. That's ATC "proper" - the color pages, The Dualist and Transitional Voices. Dead City Radio, the black and white bits, seem to be about a disaffected, sometimes delusional, college student attending an unnamed art school in the late 90?s.
Three of the books, Dead City Radio (DCR), The Dualist (TD 2 E, where 2E is 'second edition'), and Transitional Voices (TV), are in various stages of completion, meaning that the story is very fragmented at the moment. Updates are more irregular than anything this side of Dresden Codak. Of course, this is because the author has never tried to keep a schedule, and has acknowledged that the effort required for the creation of CG assets means that the odds of a regular update schedule are unlikely at best. When he does update, he may post one to several dozen pages. In addition, the author has a habit of going back and revising his work. The Dualist, for instance. has been through three or four revisions. Or five, or six, or PUBLISH ALREADY. It depends on who you ask. The authors reasons for this are many and varied.
The comic is very cryptic, often assuming the Viewers Are Geniuses because it's all in the liner notes. The military jargon, complex backstory and work in progress nature of the piece make understanding ATC akin to assembling a puzzle, but that?s half the fun. The art work is very polished and the integration of 2D and 3D assets is well done.
If you want to read ATC you will want to read all of The Dualist before starting Transitional Voices. Dead City Radio (book 2) starts here, and will be a prequel to The Dualist once completed. The Second Edition of The Dualist (book 3) starts here. Transitional Voices (book 4) starts here. And here are the old cast list, old lexicon, and old FAQ, all of which are missing from the current version of the website.
Oh and much of this may be NSFW due to nudity, language, etc. But mostly language and etc.
This comic provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: There are extensive liner notes about the art and universe at the bottom of each page. As well as the FAQs and cast pages, some of which are a little hard to get to.
- Author Appeal: The author may have a fixation with boobage and pregnancy.
- The Battlestar: The Sabrosa
- Bio Augmentation: Xand, the Addicaines, and Tantek in one form or another.
- Cool Starship: The Sabrosa.
- Drugs Are Bad: Averted. Hardcore stimulants are used often and explicitly. It is implied that the Addicaine commanders have the option of using heavy duty combat drugs to bring their troops up to battle ready status.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Requires gifted human navigators making contact with a "jump net" or highly sophisticated equipment (the Biomagnetic Transfer System, or BTS).
- Furry Comic: Sort of. Some of the characters are human/bolvine or human/goat hybrids. The author handwaves this as "metahumanity" and has at times argued that if characters such as Grij and Shannon are "furries," then Spock is a rabbit and Worf is a lobster.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The Templar may be A Lighter Shade of Grey but not much about the larger conflict has been shown yet.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Earth is in the middle of a sinkhole that makes FTL navigation extremely difficult - being in the middle of a Hazard To Navigation, the rest of the galaxy is unaware of Earth.
- Magi Babble: Goes with the Magitek.
- Magitek: Science and magic are heavily integrated. For instance, FTL relies on "ambient energy" and much of the plot revolves around attempts to harness the power of supernatural beings for scientific study.
- Mega Corp: Heirotus
- Mental Picture Projector: Used on Val at Bethlehem Medical Centre.
- Mind Screw: Often, especially in Dead City Radio (arguably the entire point of Dead City Radio).
- Most Common Superpower: Most of the female characters. Especially Raven, Val, and Xand
- Nuke'Em: General Grij orders a nuclear strike on Bethlehem Medical Centre to "clean up" evidence of the Heirotus expedition.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Victims of psychic attacks suffer bleeding from nose, eyes, and ears
- Readings Are Off the Scale: One instance caused the computer analyzing the data to have a stroke.
- Restraining Bolt: Implied that the Addicaines have these (Addicaine N-6, specifically, is heavily medicated as a means of suppressing his telekinetic abilities).
- Revision: The author sometimes revisits and does a new edition of a comic. Historically, this has been used as a justification for ret-conning CG elements, rewriting the story (but not the plot), and reformatting to improve pacing. The biggest revision took place over 2008-2009, in which The Dualist was completely rewritten and reformatted from 3:4 to 6:9.
- Secret Project Refugee Family: Johnathan West?s companions include an Addicaine, a disgraced Marine, and a cyborg with amnesia.
- Sophisticated As Hell: Characters often go from highly technical mil-speak to vagina jokes and back in the same sentence.
- Subspace Ansible: The Quantum Analogue Relay (QAR). Apparently very rare.
- Super-Deformed: Used when characters are under the influence or very startled, mainly in the first half of The Dualist. Use of this technique has been phased out due to persistent (and well-reasoned) criticism from the author's (at the time) roommates.
- Super Soldier: The Addicaines (though they have yet to prove this).
- Viewers Are Geniuses: And how. The mil-speak, the Techno Babble and the tendency to mention important information exactly once all contributes to this.
- Wetware CPU: Carbon computers like IKON and Storm are carried by female transhuman hosts in a form of artificial pregnancy. It is not clear whether the computer has a personality of its own or is an extenuation of her host.