I wouldn’t call myself a paranoid person. I do sometimes run to get into bed and pull up the covers as quickly as possible after watching a Law and Order: SVU marathon. After reading George Orwell’s 1984, I did start regarding every tv or computer screen with a small fear that it was a potential 2-way telescreen. Despite this, I am typically a level-headed librarian that loves to drop the phrase “peer-reviewed research” into regular conversations.
But Robert Venditti’s The Homeland Directive brought out the conspiracy theorist in me. When I finished reading the graphic novel, I wasn’t convinced that the federal government was spreading an infectious disease in hopes of scaring the population into submission and setting up the head of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the murder of her research partner. But when I was in the middle of the novel, it didn’t seem entirely far fetched. Venditti was able to take me out of my own perception of the world while I read this graphic novel, and left me thinking far after I finished reading.
Pairing with brilliant illustrator, Mike Huddleston, Venditti wrote a piece that feels outrageous and real at the same time. The illustrations are complicated and portray mood more than action, and the style changes with the setting and cast of characters. All together, this is a stylistic, powerful graphic novel with a well edited story and smart pacing. Everything that needs to be in the story is there, with no extras. I would recommend this book for fans of Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man series or Mat Johnson’s Right State.