Memetic (2014)


A meme is an idea that starts with an individual, and then virally spreads to multiple persons and potentially entire societies. Richard Dawkins suggests a meme’s success comes from its effectiveness to the host. But history shows that destructive memes can spread just as rapidly through society. Memetic shows the progression of a weaponized meme that leads to the utter annihilation of the human race within 72 hours. The root of this apocalypse is a single image on the internet, a ‘meme’ in the popular sense. A meme that changes everything.

From: BOOM! Studios

Notes on This Title



26th GLAAD Media Award Nominee for Outstanding Comic Book


“It’s good fun to imagine a meme taking down humanity. How fast would it travel? How many would it infect? What about all those people — easy to ignore sometimes — who don’t actually spend their lives staring at screens? And the sloth image is itself an inspired creation. It’s banal but cryptic and, best of all, cute. Tynion didn’t need to stipulate that looking at it caused a mysterious flush of goodwill. In the real world, people routinely spread equally pointless memes without any tangible incentive.

Illustrator Eryk Donovan serves up rictuses and gore with palpable zest, and his enthusiasm doesn’t flag when he fleshes out the good guys. He gives Aaron beseeching eyes, a nose stud and a tangled mop of hair that reflects his tortured emotions. His boyfriend Ryan is Bloom County‘s Binkley with horn-rims and ear gauges. Barbara Xiang, the military’s expert on weaponized memes, is less flamboyant but just as expressive.

Still, Donovan falls short when it comes to capturing the visceral horror of a throng of screaming people. When there’s a mob to draw, he omits the individual details that help make real crowds frightening. Also less than satisfying is his depiction of the bizarre final stages of humanity’s meltdown. The images at the end of the book are more brow-furrowing than spine-tingling. But that’s ultimately Tynion’s fault — any artist would find it hard to depict the peculiar conclusion he’s laid out.” (Source: NPR)


“It’s a sad shame when finding a comic book that deals with a current and relative topic is such a rarity. It’s even harder to find one that’s actually worth reading. Most of them try to be preachy, putting their own political positions into the story instead of just presenting a topical subject with an interesting slant. Memetic, from Batman scribe James Tynion IV, takes the idea of information sharing in the Internet Age to horrifying proportions, and gives readers a unique, modern-day twist on the all-too-often told zombie story.

Memetic is a great comic book that anyone can pick up, read, and walk away from the experience with something substantial. There’s a solid story, well paced horror, and an underlying examination of current societal trends that leave readers wondering, but stays open-ended and nonjudgmental. The character-driven tale gives everything a strong sense of realism, and I can’t help but ask the question: ‘What If?’ Accompanied by amazing art and backed by great design decisions, Memetic is definitely something you should check out.” (Source: Outright Geekery)


“WARNING! This comic will mess with your head. It’s been a few days since I’ve read this graphic novel, and I’m still haunted by it. The Glaad Award nominee for Outstanding Comic Book lives up to the hype, and somehow—despite the gore and the fact that it’s a comic—seems quite plausible. In the story, a meme shows up on the Internet, causing mass euphoria for those that see it. A weaponized meme is called a memetic, and well, that’s where this story takes off. The story centers on a blind man and a color-blind/deaf college student who initially survive simply because they can’t see the memetic. One searches for the source of the memetic while the other frantically escapes one evolving disaster after another as everyone in the world around them turn into zombies. The artwork is fun and almost cartoon-like, and the story feels so realistic (the viral spread of things) that I spent half of it wondering if I should ditch the social networks I’m a part of. Even looking at the image in the graphic novel itself, I felt a little off. Memetic is a unique and foreboding comic for those who like to be spooked. It opens the mind and then shuts it off, leaving the reader wondering. It zigs when it should zag. It jumps instead of bumps. It’s good reading bliss, and I highly recommend it.” (Source: Slug Magazine)


Multiversity Comics: “James Tynion IV Crafts “An Intense and Wild Ride to the End of Humanity” With “Memetic”

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