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Book Review: Creature Tech By Doug TenNapel

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Creature Tech begins in a warehouse. Think of the final scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Hundreds upon hundreds of crates. All our hero scientist has to do is analyze what’s contained in each one. Of course, a villainous ghost returns from the dead, takes on new life thanks to the Shroud Of Turin, and runs riot over the town in hopes of regaining his lost glory.

Creature Tech begins with a little boy and his faith in God. He leaves that faith for the study of the natural world, to follow in the footprints of his father, who had been a scientist, but is now a Pastor. At the same time, the book begins with a man running away from home, only to return to start a new life.

For all that, Creature Tech is also amazingly funny. While fighting the previously mentioned ghost, our hero, mortally wounded, becomes bonded to a large symbiote. The creature saves his life, and grants him strength and skills he never had. He also falls in love with a slightly deformed girl.

Of course.

The weirdness runs amuck. Witness: The trigger-happy giant praying mantis bodyguard; The caretaker of the museum of the weird; A villain so amazingly insane that he’s as funny as he is evil; And a poor, jealous cat demon. Oh, and don’t forget the redneck hunters who befriend the mantis.

Here’s some one liners:
– “Feel the fury of Oneida!”
– “I’m covered in demonic cat pee!”

– “Now you’re full WallMarts, like us!”
– “Of all the space eels I resurrect, I get a retarded one.”

Did I forget to mention the giant space eels?

Doug’s art is also wonderful. Expressive and comical, it also has very real moments of tenderness. There’s a moment with a girl holding onto our hero that is just pure love.

One of the things I love about this story is that it takes the rather blatant Christianity and finds its deeper, archetypal meanings. Sacrifice, brotherhood, joining with the All-Encompassing, and the Godhead in everyone.

But the beauty of this story, which takes on a tone of a spiritual quest, is its completeness. While more stories could certainly be written about Creature Tech, they’d be slightly pointless asides. Our hero has completed his journey and found his truth. Why go any farther?
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Please feel free to read more of my thoughts on comics, books, politics and so forth on my blog Mom’s Basement Is My Secret HQ!”
Edited: [!–GH–]

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