26.10.09

Faker

What does university teach you about people? That we barely care about what happens to others. That self-gratification is always our primary concern. That we lie to each other all the time. Most importantly: that we lie to ourselves constantly -- the projected veneer of who we think we are is there to mask the true horror of who we really are. At least, this is what Faker suggests university is about. Sad to say, but my own experience isn't a million miles off from the picture Mike Carey and Jock present.

What's interesting about the comic, however, is that it forges ahead from this reductive starting point. There is a striking resurrection panel, which is half birth of Venus and half crucifixion of Christ. At the climax of the book, a character sacrifices himself in order to deliver his friends (and mankind?) from the all-pervasive (Satanic?) industrial-military complex. He is identified as a sacrificial lamb who will 'wash clean' the 'fucked up lives and times' of humanity. Maybe Carey is suggesting that above and beyond the fakery that comprises our daily lives is a higher truth -- that of Christian love, charity, selflessness.

Or maybe not. Because the 'Angel's Kiss' substance that kick-starts all the madness is not entirely benevolent. It only gives physical form to our dreams and nightmares. It can boost empathy and bring us closer together, but it can also bring our worst fears to life. Crucially, it can be used as a weapon. Faker is very conscious of both the value and the dangers of religion. The final page perfectly captures this ambiguity.

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