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Solid State

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  57 reviews
The graphic novel accompaniment (in square-bound, 10 x 10 format) to musician, singer-songwriter, and internet superstar JONATHAN COULTON's new concept album, SOLID STATE.

From JONATHAN COULTON, the singer-songwriter behind Code Monkey and the Portal songs; MATT FRACTION, the writer of SEX CRIMINALS, CASANOVA, and ODY-C; and drawn by the award-winning Spanish artist of Univ
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Image Comics
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Timely to read this with Net Neutrality gone - who knows how much longer before my ISP decides that Goodreads is too inflammatory for me to have access anymore? (No, I'm not sold that getting rid of Net Neutrality is a good thing, thankyouverymuch.)

Anyway, my coworker found this because he's sent me multiple songs by Coulton - crazy connection, I know! Whodda thunk a singer from the interwebs (maybe not in a few months, when Verizon and Comcast decide to stop access to YouTube or j
Ed Erwin
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, comics
The story was a bit hard to follow. Seemed to be cramming too many ideas into too short a space. Might make more sense if I listened to the music this was based on. Anyhow it was enjoyable and there were some funny parts. The art by Albert Monteys was very nice.

Maybe the moral of the story is that you should always read the terms and conditions, and be careful about what you upload to social media. Someday some giant corporation (like goodreads!) will take over the world and the fact that I rate
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Zedsdead by: Found at Vault of Midnight
This is the saddest I've ever been to low-rate a book. I love JoCo and I like Fraction, but Solid State is just a mess.

It starts off in some distant future, with a horde of workers doing...I don't know, something...while wearing identical spacesuits that they apparently don't need. They call each other "buddy" and speak in upvote and downvote emojis. Bureaucracy prevents a man with a hole in his helmet from getting a replacement, and he is forced to eat by sucking pills through the hole, so I gu
Eric Mesa
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was pretty confusing, but then again it's a concept comic for a concept album. Considering that, it's pretty awesome. I have enjoyed all the Matt Fraction I've read and this is no exception. He's as perfect a team mate to Coulton as Greg Pak was for Code Monkey Save World if not better. The story is both wonderful and depressing as I can almost see it happening right now. I think the book works well on its own and best together with the music album it's based on. Also, Monteys art is great. ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of Black Mirror-esque stories showing us how "the Internets will be the end of everything" and I thought we had enough of those, but I still like this book. I feel like Jonathan Coulton was more concerned about how people use social networks rather than social networks being evil by existence.

The book describes two timelines in the future; a nearer one where people use a Facebook-like social media channel which invades their privacy, and a later social media apocalypse where peopl
Geppis Baltimore
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a unique sci-fi story set in the future. Everyone is called "buddy" and are very concerned with how society perceives them, because they don't want to get "down voted"
Goran Lowie
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
It's a confusing but intriguing and (in the end) enjoyable read. The album it accompanies is by far my favorite thing JoCo's ever done, and this is a nice add-on.
Adam Stone
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Matt Fraction and Jonathan Coulton's Solid State is a familiar feeling sci-fi adventure. Dystopianish future. Slang has become language. People are isolated and are slaves to their jobs. There are robots. Something goes wrong.

I was really interested in the beginning of this graphic novel. I was curious where the story was going, and Albert Monteys's art is fantastic. This would have been a two star review, but his art is flawless, engaging, and the perfect pairing for what this story wants to be
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, owned
I snapped this up with a preorder for the accompanying album last spring. I love Matt Fraction's work on Sex Criminals, and have been a big JoCo fan for almost a decade now, so this was a no brainer.

This... didn't work out for me. It tells a story of a utopian-seeming dystopian future where people are more concerned with fitting in and getting likes than they are being individuals and chasing hopes and dreams. It flashes back to different points in a past life (?) showing how we reached this dys
Paul Spence
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Turning an album into a graphic novel is a daunting task, even an album by an artist as who is as much a storyteller as a songwriter as Jonathan Coulton. But Matt Fraction and Albert Monteys have not only created a graphic novel that fully represents the album, but stands on its own as a complete story. It feels right that the graphic novel flows like an album, not a straightforward series of events.

In the future, people work all day building walls with the help of robots, taking supplements to
Mark Schlatter
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
So this is the companion graphic novel to Jonathan Coulton's science fiction concept album Solid State (which I've listened to once), but to really do this review justice, I should listen to it again, and read the lyrics, and reread the graphic novel, and that's not going to happen, so here are some quick points....

1) The art by Albert Monteys is stellar. You've got a bit of bigfoot cartooning mixed with excellent giant robots mixed with compelling depictions of the near future. (I love the dode
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
A dystopian tale in 2½ parts. Created to accompany JoCo's latest album. tl:dr; Bit of a curate's egg.

The first part a robot & drugged-prole populated dystopia, the second part is how we got from their from here, and I think I'll leave the ½ part for a spoiler tag later. It finishes with an appendix that explains on a track by track basis how album implies a story line, which got expanded into this comic. While I enjoyed this behind the scenes glimpse, it sadly doesn't change my opinion about the
M.E. Kinkade
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Weird, beautiful, and good. I haven't yet heard the album for which this was written, and maybe that's a mistake, but Matt Fraction was co-author and I had to gobble it up.
First, the easy part: the art is good. It brings depth that a novelization just couldn't match. I like the lines and the use of color and the general absurdity, particularly with feelings communicated with thumbs-up and thumbs-downs.
The story--more complicated. In fact I think I'll have to read it again to really grok it, but
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Baffling and hilarious. For the most part set in a dystopian society where a bunch of “buddies” toil on walls, for what & against what our protagonist wonders. This moves into deeper territory by way of absurdist laughs & a sudden reveal of the subtext of all this. Now we are in a very modern world trying to negotiate the difference between privacy & security, the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is feeling bad for what you do, but shame is feeling bad for what you ARE. Monteys art and ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Jonathan Coulton
I found this book at my local comic shop and had no idea it was a concept graphic novel paired with an album by Jonathan Coulton. I'd never heard of the artist before and to be honest, the music didn't make much sense for a sci fi graphic novel in my opinion. I was expecting something more electronic and space-y. The album I ended up listening to isn't really my style. The graphic novel itself was fairly interesting and unique, albeit a little preachy. The pacing and timelines were a little conf ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was hard to follow. There at least two separate timelines in this narrative. The narrative jumps around and the author does little to include cues when shifts occur. My comic book group had a lively discussion regarding one of the themes in this book: the notion of digital privacy. The conversation devolved to how things used to be in the old days. I think whatever relationship we have with digital spaces is wholly determined by the individual to some extent. However, I don’t think the narr ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I love all three of the creators involved in this (Coulton, Fraction, and Monteys), and Coulton's concept album "Solid State" is my favorite of his collection. I really, REALLY wanted to love this graphic novel, but it's so haphazard and stilted that I was never able to really connect with the storyline. I loved noticing the bits that were obviously taken from song lyrics, but wished there was a lot more story to this story. That being said, the overall tone was as obvious as the one from the co ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jonathan Coulton had a new album which turned out to be a concept album. Passing his ideas behind to the songs to Matt Fraction, a story was melded together. Albert Monteys set it down in artful pages into a solid state.

This may have deserved 5 stars, but I feel like neither the album nor the graphic novel make complete sense without each other or the endnotes. Or... maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to get it; it wouldn't be the first time. Either way, this is a masterful collaboration.
Paul Allard
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Another one that's a bit unfathomable – science-fiction comic collection

Maybe it's me but this comic collection is a bit hard to follow. A fair amount of patience is needed and perseverance although it is nicely-produced and quite interesting. It's about how our data is collected, owned and used – in the distant future.

Not sure about this as you may have gathered. I like my plots to be a bit more straight-forward and easier to follow – maybe I'm a bit thick for this one. Might be worth a shot fo
Dave Bartos
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This comic contemplates a (dystopian?) timeline with humankind developing alongside social media and artificial intelligence. Working with concepts from Jonathan Coulton's album of the same name, Fraction and Monteys woke me up to a vivid future that seems like it might already be here.

NoveList Appeal Terms

Genre: Apocalyptic comics; Comics and Graphic novels; Dystopian comics; Science fiction comics
Themes: Technical difficulties
Tone: Sardonic; Thought-provoking
Writing Style: Engaging
Shannon Clark
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Weird and creative and hits too close to home as a technologist. Going to have to relisten to the album many more times and probably reread this to get it all. But the visuals are compelling and distinctive. As a concept really thought provoking and interesting collaboration from one of my favorite musicians and one of my favorite comics creators.

Glad I pre-ordered this!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I don’t really get it. And the pages smell awful. I bought this at a concert I really enjoyed. The book was expensive and pretty rubbish. Maybe I’m just not the right audience, but I do get JoCo’s songs, so I thought I would be the right audience. I only really bought the book to support him and do my bit to make sure he keeps making great music, so I’m that sense it was worth it.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was odd, but interesting and beautiful to look at (thought the book/pages actually smell bad and left the smell on my fingers - I only mention because I saw this pointed out in another review so it seems to not be just my copy). It was a good quick distraction for me being home sick - not too heavy. And I did read it with the concept album it is connected to playing in the background.
Emilia P
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Definitely picked up a comic tied to a Jonathan Coulton song cycle. I am not his biggest fan. But it was about Facebook, and digital privacy andddd where is our world going oh nooooo. I dunno, it was kind of awesome for being a random pickup by a dude I think is a little too much in general. The artwork made it.
Patrick McG
This is a book that you need to use a record player for, and I had to learn to use the record player which was hard but fun. And sometimes the songs didn't seem to match the book, but I ended at the right time so I guess I did it right, but man It's been a while since I thought I could mess up at reading a book. Three stars out of five.
Elisa The-Bookie-Monster
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Matt Fraction's work, and although this is enjoyable, I am completely confused. It's set mostly in the future where everyone is "buddy" and buddies are concerned with down votes. And then the moon goes missing. Idk. My mind is fucked.
This book was fucking weird as shit, but also still really good somehow? I mean, I'm pretty sure I don't understand everything/anything that was going on in it, but it was so well written I almost don't care?
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-fiction
What an odd Kafkaesque surreal story! I'm not going to spoil it with a description. It's weird enough that it's difficult for me to review without a description, but that might ruin it for other readers. But I enjoyed it.
David Turko
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Man so conflicted. The art in this book is wonderful yet the story is a bit hard to follow. Too many ideas were crammed into one little book. By the time the ending came I was even more confused. Still it was enjoyable and their were some parts where I got a good chuckle.
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Jonathan Coulton is an American singer-songwriter, known for his songs about geek culture and his use of the Internet to draw fans.

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