An original hardcover graphic novel from two of comics most acclaimed creators, Scott Snyder (Wytches, Batman, American Vampire) and Jeff Lemire (Descender, Extraordinary X-Men, Sweet Tooth). A.D.: After Death is set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found and now, years later, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose and illustration, A.D.: After Death is a experience like nothing else.
Scott Snyder is the Eisner and Harvey Award winning writer on DC Comics Batman, Swamp Thing, and his original series for Vertigo, American Vampire. He is also the author of the short story collection, Voodoo Heart, published by the Dial Press in 2006. The paperback version was published in the summer of 2007.
A.D. After Death is the most ambitious graphic novel I've ever read. It instills hope and sadness, the beauty, darkness, and ethereality of life. It plays on the narrative form, typewritten words arranged like poetry, balanced with small images, panels, and splash pages. The story stays with me like a feeling, or a long forgotten dream.
Snyder's writing is intensely deep and emotional, existential and poignant, confronting life, death, love, family, and self-worth. It's like the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, except it's Five Hundred Years of Solitude in a graphic novel. Lemire's illustrations are the best I've ever seen: clean, emotive, detailed, and vibrant. Seriously, the watercolors, especially in the clouds and lightning, are awe-inspiring. The writing and art combine for a powerful effect, honest and heartbreaking, mysterious yet familiar. It's hard to even describe. You should just read it for yourself.
A Short Note on the Deluxe Edition...
This edition is beautiful. It's wide, too, at 8.2" x 11.1". It has a durable matte hardcover and thick semi-gloss paper. The combined sewn-glued binding is perfect, lying flat from the start. My only complaint would be the utter lack of extras, none whatsoever, but it's hard to complain for $24.99. A must own for Snyder and Lemire fans.
A graphic NOVEL as this is about 75% prose. The prose sections take place "now" with the comic portions set in a future where a few humans have conquered death. Very existential, explores what it would really be like to live forever.
The Good: Jeff Lemire's sparse watercolors fit the tone of the book perfectly.
The Bad: The parts of the book taking place "now" take over half of the book to get started. There were less than a hundred pages left when something finally started happening and I grew interested for the first time. Honestly, if this wasn't by Snyder and Lemire I probably would have skipped large sections of the prose entirely.
The Ugly: This felt like the first draft of a sci-fi novel that Snyder asked Lemire to draw some pictures for.
Received an advance copy from Image and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
After Death is a hybrid of a comic book and an illustrated novel about a world where the cure for death was discovered, about the consequences of such a discovery, and about one man whose personal story made it possible.
I will say this upfront: this is Scott Snyder's best writing in years. In fact, this is his first (and so far only) competently written book since the end of Batman's Zero Year arc. I didn't find the prose parts badly written, nor did I dislike the comic book half of the book which was relatively sparse on words. Judging this just for its experimental form and the level of writing alone, there are not a lot of bad things I can say about After Death. And now that that's out of the way, I will also say this: I absolutely hated the experience of reading it.
It's bleak as fuck. I don't know what I was expecting from A.D., but it turned out to be a book entirely about death. Death of the main character's mother, an event that he is reminiscing about for the majority of the prose part of the book, nibbling on every little detail of it, replaying the experience of it in his head again and again. Death or mortal illness of kids in a children's hospital that the character visits during the book. Death of friends, death of animals and other life on earth and, ultimately, fear of his own death — that is the central focus of A.D. This might sound... appealing to some people, I guess? But I tend to suffer a lot from anxiety and depression, and reading this was like repeatedly punching a bruise for the whole duration of the book. Thanks, Scott Snyder!
And I'm not even trying to say that the guy wrote the book to be emotionally manipulative, with the intent to bum out his readers. I get the impression that he was trying to work through some of his own existential fears, he just happened to do this in a comic book format and got Jeff Lemire to illustrate it, which meant that I had to read it.
Speaking of which, the illustrations by Lemire are absolutely fantastic. If you love his artwork, this is some of his best yet — gorgeous watercolours, expressive faces, incredible work with palette, and it all looks phenomenal on the huge pages of this hardcover.
I could go on a bit longer and say something about the annoying ambiguity of multiple plot points that I wish were better explained, or how this doesn't really come together as a story in the end, or the fact that the concept of immortality was gimmicky and convoluted, but to be honest, by the time these questions came up in my head I didn't even care anymore, I was just wallowing in misery. And now excuse me, I have to go get a drink or ten...
“A.D.: After Death” is the Scott Snyder-iest comic that’s ever Scott Snyder-ed: composed of lengthy prose sections and sparsely illustrated comic interludes (with art provided by Jeff Lemire), it’s a sprawling, often times confounding story about literally the biggest and most metaphysical idea possible: death, and the innate human desire to conquer it. It’s also, from start to finish, packed to the gills with Snyder-isms: you’ve got stream-of-conscious dialogue, cross-cutting between various narratives, characters who are struggling with personal demons, and – of course – lots and LOTS of high-minded philosophizing. Some of “A.D.” works splendidly; some of it feels a little forced, almost like Snyder doesn’t quite trust the reader to follow him where he’s trying to go. But even if “A.D.” doesn’t quite meet its lofty ambitions, it’s hard not to admire Snyder’s designs, both thematically and narratively. Say what you will about the man as a storyteller – that he’s too smart for his own good, that he’s slightly better with concepts than fully satisfying stories, that he tries too hard – but one thing you CANNOT say is that Scott Snyder doesn’t shoot for the moon every time out.
I read this in the single book form but wanted to add the bind up to my Goodreads goal because this was a time extensive read. After Death combines prose and comics in a way that I haven't experienced in any other book. The story was confusing, challenging, non-linear, but in the end extremely satisfying and highly intelligent. I think there is more to this story to dig around into on rereads and hope that it stays with me for awhile. If you are looking for a science fiction story told in a non-linear way but with literary elements, give this a try.
A.D.: After Death is the strangest graphic novel in the best possible sense. What would society be like in the AD years when a cure for death has been found? Trust me, you don't want to be a part of it. Told vividly through Jeff Lemire's distinct illustrations, A.D. takes on an experimental graphic novel form filled with Scott Snyder's thought-provoking prose and comic panels with sparse dialogue to pages of silence where the artwork conveys all there is to be shared. It's sad, it's trippy, it's existential, it's haunting, and weirdly enough, it's nostalgic despite this sci-fi setting. It's no wonder that it's been optioned for a movie as it will easily connect just as powerfully through a different medium.
*Disclaimer* While I don't own this particular book - I do, however, own the three separate volumes that this collection is comprised of.
SNYDER AND LEMIRE WORKING TOGETHER ON A COMIC BOOK!!!?
as dfg kjmalo fdkfja sdiju n oias jduio asduj oidj io9djos...!
5 stars. End review.
Okay...sorry. I'll try and collect my thoughts and give it a shot. First off this isn't a traditional comic book. What I mean to say is that not every page is laid out with panels and word balloons and some fun looking art. I mean, while it does have all that, there are also pages more akin to that of a novel with just a simple picture or two and the rest being prose. This alone intrigued me. I love reading, I love comics, it seems natural, for me, for the two mediums to collide. And I have to say that Scott Snyder is on point with his words. This is actually probably my favorite work of his to date. I am a long time fan of his and have enjoyed, pretty much, his entire catalog of work - but After Death, to me, felt like something really special.
I read all 3 volumes back to back in the park today. I had read the first book back when it originally came out - but decided to hold off on the other two and read it all in one large chunk.
So there I sat in the sun with a couple of sandwiches and an iced coffee getting completely pulled into Snyder's story. I would become absorbed with his words and turn the page and BAM! All of a sudden Lemire's artwork would explode into my eyeballs! It's like Snyder would make me forget this was a comic and then all of a sudden there was all this color and Lemire's side of things would take over.
It was a true delight.
The story was solid and left me feeling...desperate...conflicted...nostalgic...scared...and morose. Pretty much all at once. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending, but I can accept it and as every minute goes by since I have turned the last page I find that I am digesting it more and more and drawing up my own conclusions.
That's all I really want to say about the story because it really is better if you don't know anything going into it.
I really do think this story works best as one book. Even though I already own the three individual ones I more than likely will pick up the collection for the shelf when it becomes available.
Anyway, TLDR, I fucking loved it! A great way to spend an afternoon in the park. Would love to see more collaborations between these two!
2 of my favorite authors on one book (though unfortunately one was just doing the art) should make this a 5-star book but they kinda messed up on this one.
What's it about? This guy found a cure for death and this is a story about what his life is like decades later.
Pros: The art is fantastic. I am a bit disappointed that Lemire isn't a co-author or something, he's the artist but he is a very good artist so it definitely has that going for it. This is a pretty interesting story. This is a really unpredictable book. Lots of suspense. There's a lot of weird stuff in this book. I like weird books so... yeah.
Cons: The main character is not really likable. So much mixing of comics and prose. Is this a trend or something because I don't know how many times I have had to say it in reviews recently but if I wanted to read a comic that's what I'd do and if I wanted to read a prose book I would read a prose book. PICK. A. D***. FORMAT. I am freaking sick of this! This book is probably the one that I've seen do it the most so far. I almost wonder if Snyder wanted to write a prose book but knew his fans are hooked on comics so he decided to ask Lemire to get on the project and then sent it to Image because it would pretty much be guaranteed money from every comic shop or something. The narrative is awful. Throughout the book the not really good protagonist just rambles on about s*** making it more confusing and kinda boring. I have a major (though probably kinda stupid) problem with the opening scene. In the opening scene, the protagonist talks about his first memory and in the process of doing so he mentions several things that happened in his life before that memory... am I the only one seeing the problem here? It clearly makes that not his first memory making the entire scene become kinda stupid. Most of the book is filler. This probably would have been a one shot if you removed the filler. The ending is awful, it's like it just kinda stops and doesn't really make much sense.
Overall: This book proves that pretty much any good author is pretty capable of f***ing up. This is a book is by 2 of the most talented people in comics and honestly, still manages to (sorry) kinda suck. I thought about giving it 3 stars but that would be me giving a star to this book just because of the creative team and giving it 2 stars is honestly kinda generous but hey, Lemire's art does kick a**. Sorry Snyder, I still love a lot of your work and you are still one of my favorite authors, but this one, I really don't get why so many love it.
Rating 3 out of 5 | Grade: B; Poignant, thought inducing, Depressing
Sometime in the distant future, a bunch of billionaires discover the cure for death, or rather aging. Using the genetic material drawn from Claire, an orphan with the Neotenic Complex Syndrome, and engineering it to produce a booster serum which can stave off aging, if administered every few years.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world had gone to shit, with regressing societal conditions, environmental disasters and of course, the threat of nuclear war.
Errant, an old eccentric billionaire, gathers a small clique of individuals whom he considers useful, and takes them to a safe haven, a retreat constructed on the mountain peak, over 12000 feet high.
Over time, the commune would swell up to 4000 people, all being administered booster shots for immortality through the water and shots. Plants, livestock, cities, their own little niche of civilization safe from the chaos of the world, which at this point had gone to complete catastrophe.
A barrier of unnatural psychedelic lighting clouds now separates the immortal utopia from the surface world. Whether or not it was a result of the freak weather following the nuclear winter, or something put in place to deny entry to any adventurous survivors remains to be seen.
So, in this glass city of Kandor, humans live, live and live. Centuries pass, cycles come and go, until living just becomes a chore, it becomes merely existing. The human mind, with its limiting capacity, can only retain a few hundred years' worth of memories.
In time old memories, that before the collapse of the world, of them living normal moral lives are erased. Centuries pass like there were merely a season, and all the collective memories collapse into a congealed indecipherable mess.
You could meet someone for the ‘first time’, without realizing that a lifetime ago, he/she was your significant other, or closest friend. When time stopped to have meaning for human life, so did life itself.
This wasn’t too bad. It didn’t really hit me hard emotionally like I thought it would. I think that’s from not really connecting with the lead character much and not being that into the story. I would have liked more from these two creators. Though the art is nice.
What a dreary way to spend an hour or two. I was so disengaged from this awful story that I spent way too much time fixating on how often the art and the words don't seem to match. Was the artist also having trouble staying focused on the writing as he drew the script? (I see the copy editor was having problems staying focused because he let a couple typos through. That may be due to the choice of the godawful typewriter font that takes up page after page after page.) Or maybe Lemire was working from a rough script and Snyder just didn't bother to look at the pictures closely as he slapped his final-draft drivel into the balloons and captions?
Most egregious example: In one scene we have a character spotting another character on the balcony of a "cape" house. In the illustration, there is no visible balcony on the Cape Cod style house. There is a balcony on the "geometric contemporary" house next to it, but no human figure is visible. Later illustrations in the sequence make it clear the characters are supposed to be meeting on the lower balcony on the front of the "geometric contemporary," a placement that then makes it unlikely for the protagonist to end the scene gazing intently at the backdrop behind the house, though I suppose he could be looking through the house entirely through two sets of windows.
(Oh, during the same scene, we have this awkward encounter: One character uses his right hand to hold the shoulder of the other [inference from a later picture says they are facing each other directly] and then sticks the pinkie of his left hand into his own right ear in order to display blood on the tip of his finger. This isn't impossible of course, but go ahead and act this out once or twice with a friend for a good chuckle.)
Other examples: One of the first illustrations in the book shows the protagonist spotting a balloon just a few dozen feet from a motel sign and palm trees while the text states, "The trees along this stretch of Florida are plain and bare. There were palm trees by our motel, but these look just like the trees at home to me." Later in the book we are told a mountaintop town is "situated on a lake" while the picture shows only a river or stream that's less wide than the length of a dump truck. An earlier picture of the same town from a higher and farther perspective also shows only a river and no lake.
Anyhow, this book is bad. If it is not too late for you, do not bother to read it.
In A.D. After Death, the new graphic novel by Scott Snyder, the genetic cure for death is discovered. But a quick look beneath all the sci-fi hullabaloo revels that A.D. is actually the tragic tale of a man failing to come to grips with death—losing his parents, friends, his past. However peek a tad closer still, friend, and you will see that A.D. is really about the loss of identity—what is the use of never dying if we loose who we truly are? Oh, but give a gander a little further and you will see that A.D. is actually a puzzle that has more bends than the healthy lower intestine sitting inside your body right now! A.D. is actually all of these things –but even better: it’s a fantastically written, sad, shocking, and ultimately haunting story.
The story is an enigma told in multiple time periods that jumps around more than a nest of spider crickets (the ultra-icky Rhaphidophridae) breeding in your basement. Most of the pages are written in text with other sections more like a high-end comic book displaying some pretty impressive watercolors from artist Jeff Lemire. This is a book that assumes it’s audience is intelligent and rewards observation and perceptive reading.
Snyder is a great author at the top of his game and once again he is able to bring heady ideas down to a personal human level without sacrificing his story or the fun (there is even a battle with some kind of mutant dog in this baby). This is a strong and fulfilling work for those willing to put in the effort.
Quite excellent! This book felt expansive in ways that comic books usually are not, probably because it uses a mixture of sequential art (like comic panels) interspersed with pages of normal writing (like in a regular book, though it was still illustrated, even on the “written” pages)
The story is engaging, the philosophy it delves into is gut-wrenching and real, and the twists that come are unexpected yet logical. And the art….Lemire is one of my all-time favorites. His kinetic scribble-style drawings paired with washed-out watercolors gives the book a tired, dreamlike quality before you even read one word.
Even if you’re not a fan of graphic novels, this is the kind of book I would hand you to change your mind.
This comic is truly a "graphic novel" as it combines narration done in past tense written in prose with minor illustrations during those flashback sequences interspersed with comic book sequences in present tense taking place in the far future after they have discovered a cure for death where people have been living basically as immortals for hundreds of years thanks to this breakthrough. The theme of death looms over both sections... while it isn't clear just where the plot is heading so far, the writing and illustrations are well suited for each other. Enjoying the ride so far. Can't go wrong with scott Snyder or Jeff Lemire highly recommended
Scott Snyder did not disappoint in this new book. I loved learning about the new world where there is no death. I liked how life and death have split into two areas. I liked how there's no reason for life without having your life and memories. I liked how Jonas thought his mother was scared of death but she was scared that she lost her memories for a second. How Jonas didn't want to live a life in fear and chose to lose his memories. I liked how he fought Errant to find a world that exists with death. I honestly loved the world because it relates to every human who is afraid of death. I liked that the beginning of the book is that actual beginning of one of his journal. Claire was innocent and didn't deserve to go through any of these horrible things.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Endless musings by the narrator about his fearful childhood, interspersed with his adult life centuries later, after human death has been eradicated.
DNF'd at about 30%. I quite liked the mix of artfully formatted prose and standard graphic novel structure, but A.D. was just...so...tedious. I did not look forward to picking it back up in the evenings and I'd reliably fall asleep after a page or two.
I dislike starting a book and failing to finish it but sometimes it's for the best.
AD: After Death has so much potential. It's an odd, halting narrative, flipping between past and present. Our narrator is hella unreliable for unique plot reasons. The suspense and building tension is expertly drawn out, leaving readers constantly guessing as to what is going on. And then Snyder writes a horrifically stereotypical ending with an ambiguous climax that just isn't satisfying. It's a good read, but it could have been a great one.
"Theft is a form of magic" a beautiful line from Snyder and his writing is very, very good. I first want to say that this book is really well done, the writing and layout of art is exceptional. Even the format of this hardcover edition is big and beautiful and lends to the layout of the art. The story is sort of original (no spoilers) but some ideas are great and some I have seen before. It follows the life of Jonah and his relationships with his family and his career as a thief. After Death has some great ideas they explore and I enjoyed the ride.
Snyder's writing is in top form and his details into Jonah's life are razor sharp and well thought out. Lemire.... oh Lemire, your original stories are a joy most of the time but your art... it just seems rushed and a little bit underwhelming. I get it, maybe you want your art to seem a bit rough but man... When there are so many artists who are better (sorry it's true) and you are clearly in high demand. Why can't you just wrangle up a kick ass artist... (end minor rant)
I liked this story but on the same hand I feel like it could have been a longer series but no complaints really, it finished nicely even if the end wasn't totally my favorite.
Reading this book made me feel like I had inadvertently picked up the notebook of that kid who wanders around school with a beret, a keffiyeh, a Moleskin, and his hand-braided keychain complete with a Starbucks gold card. He's trying really, really hard to be something, to define himself in the image of his heroes, but the process is so exhausting and self-centered that he can't tell that he's made himself a bit of a joke.
I've known kids like that, and I don't mean to discount their intelligence. They can spurt off some unique insights. They can be interesting people, but they're mostly infuriating because everything they do has a "VALIDATE ME" undertone. No, thanks. Figure it out yourself or be less obvious about how cool you think you are.
That kid is that book. I do not care for that kid; I do not care for this book.
I gave this 5 stars a while back because I think Jeff Lemire is the most talented writer in Comics today. His art isn’t too shabby either. Also Scott Snyder is already a legend in my book. Batman, wytches, severed and more. But the 5 stars I gave it has been eating away at me. The book itself has much prose and poetry along with comic dialogue. It’s a big undertaking of its own style and should be commended. But I’m here to admit that this book kinda sucked. It wasn’t good. It was boring. The dump I took this morning was more interesting to look at than this book. Ok. It feels good to get that off my chest. Thanks. 5 stars.
The prose sections made this a lengthy read but also a very unique one. The use of prose to distinguish timelines was fascinating. I really enjoyed the addition of Bud, and the details of Jonah's second career choice.
I enjoyed Snyder and Lemire's collaboration on this and I hope they do more together.
2,5/5. Great illustrations from Lemire, but unfortunately he just did the art, the story is from Snyder and, don't mean any disrespect he has done some good work, but I would have prefer to be all Lemire. I think it could have been more focus on the story and present it in a more concise and deeper way. Overall story felt a bit over stretch to me. No much in this one for me!
There's a cure for death. Ironically, most of the Earth is unreachable, covered by some kind of deadly mutation or virus that destroys life, keeping the people who had taken the cure for death trapped in a small area in the mountains, living lives doomed to forgetfulness after a hundred years.
I liked this, but kind of low-key liked it. It was a difficult read. It kind of has the same format as some of Alan Moore's stuff: serial narrative interspersed with a wall of text. But the pacing here was different. Where League is mostly serial narrative and Providence is mostly wall of text, the amount of serial vs. text in this comic varies to fit the pacing of the story. So your brain is constantly shifting gears between media, which is hard, but the work takes that into account and works that into the story. The "ugh!" you feel when slipping back into text is timed so that it's the "ugh" that the character feels.
It seems like the technique is divisive. At first I hated it, but by the end it felt more comfortable and I liked it a lot. I think readers just need to get used to it for it to work, over probably a generation of comics creation or so...who knows?
Anyway, I recommend this with reservations. There's a twist at the end that I liked very much, and is open to interpretation, but I see that some people loathed it with the fire of a thousand suns. I'm a Gene Wolfe reader, though, and screwing with stories in that kind of way almost always pleases me.
The other thing that's good about this is that it's fairly easy to go back through after you're done reading the story the first time and touch base with the serial sections. "Ah! That's how it was set up."
Cela faisait un moment que cet album attendait mais compte tenu du format, moitié texte sous la forme d'un journal intime qui raconte le passé du narrateur, moitié dessins avec la narration des faits dans le présent de l'histoire, je voulais être sûre d'avoir le temps de le lire sans prendre trop de temps. Effectivement, il vaut mieux lire l'album d'une traite ou avec peu de coupures car avec les sauts d'époque constants, on peut vite oublier des choses. J'ai forcément été sous le charme du trait de Jeff Lemire, que j'apprécie à chaque fois : un peu brouillon pour paraitre naturel, anguleux comme j'aime et qui se prête bien aux personnages et au contexte et avec des couleurs douces ou carrément psychédéliques. Quant à l'histoire, je suis partie sans rien en savoir hormis le titre qui donne une indication et j'ai découvert au fur et à mesure cet univers étrange, décalé, futuriste et en même temps terriblement actuel dans certaines réflexions. Je n'avais pas vu venir le twist final qui parait assez logique mais qui m'a laissée quand même un peu sur ma faim ! Mais l'ensemble est original, fait réfléchir, maintient un certain suspense malgré quelques longueurs et mérite vraiment le titre de roman graphique, comme je les aime !
Romanzo grafico con le parti in prosa (lunghe e verbose) che equivalgono a quelle a fumetti (pochi dialoghi e disegni veloci) su un uomo disperato che, in mondo che da ottocento anni ha inventato la cura per la morte, vuole che le cose tornino com'erano.
A.D.: After Death è un esperimento strano che si ripete in eterno saltando da un presente distopico a un passato oscuro e tormentato: ne esce fuori una storia, nostalgica e dolente, frammentata e caotica, che ci invita a riflettere sul concetto di morte quale chiave di lettura della vita.
Scritto da Scott Snyder, autore prolifico di storie di Batman e collaboratore di Stephen King, e disegnato come sempre meravigliosamente da Jeff Lemire (insieme a Craig Thompson mio artista preferito).
Well, I discovered I love Scott Snyder. This was so good, especially with Jeff Lemire as an artist as he is one of my favorite comic writer and artist. This is different than other graphic novels I've read, because half of it is actually prose with illustrations. It is an exploration of human nature in the event a cure for death is discovered. It is also an exploration of identity, what motivates us and how important our memories are to what makes us who we are. I really loved the struggle between what we know is the right thing to do and actually doing it. It was really a beautiful, special story with great impact and one of those stories you discover new things each time you read it.
A deep science fiction read about life and death. About what is truly valuable in life. I enjoyed the whole journey and the ending was bittersweet. It also has a stolen cow, if you’re into that sort of thing.