I’m part of the generation that grew up on the internet. My parents were pretty early adopters, and being PC Gamers themselves, I can’t picture my life without connectivity. Growing up, I always surrounded myself with other outdoor-hating youths and together, we welcomed the birth of sites like I Can Has Cheezburger, CollegeHumor, Reddit and 9gag and then later, social media.
Meaning, since I was old enough to read, I’ve been sending and receiving funny little bits of information, memes, if you will. As dumb as it sounds, Memes played a big part in how we connected and expressed ourselves growing up. Even now, we’re all in our 30s, but you’d be hard-pressed to look through our group chats and not be bombarded by meme after meme centred on whatever phase of life we’re currently living through.
While aimlessly browsing the internet one night instead of sleeping (as one does), I happened upon Memetic, a comic about a meme that gets shared repeatedly and brings about the end of the world. I was instantly sold… and instantly shared the comic with all of my friends… as one does…
Written by James Tynion IV (WYND; The Woods; Something is Killing the Children) and with art by Eryk Donovan (Cognetic; Eugenic; Constantine: The Hellblazer) for BOOM! Studios (The Backstagers; Bone Parish; Giant days), Memetic is an apocalyptic horror story of the best and, at times, craziest kind.
Told over the course of three days, the premise of Memetic is simple: There is a meme of a “Good Times Sloth” that makes anyone who looks at it feel this mad rush of endorphins and become instantly happy (until it doesn’t). No one can explain how this seemingly ordinary meme can make people have this strong reaction upon seeing it. Still, everyone can agree that the Good Times Sloth is amazing, and everyone needs to see it and feel it.
We follow a young boy named Aaron, who doesn’t understand what the fuss is about. Aaron is colour blind, and the meme doesn’t have the same effect on him as it does on everyone else. Thus, over the next 72 hours, Aaron has a front seat to watching the utter and complete destruction of the human race and is powerless to stop it.
At this point, the whole “apocalypse – end of humanity” theme is way overdone. And yet Memetic manages to feel like a breath of fresh air. Instead of the end of the world being brought on by a virus (something that feels a little too close to home these days) or AI that’s become a little too intelligent for our own good, or even because someone was a little too trigger happy with that red button, in Memetic the end of everything as we know it comes from a way simpler place, it comes from us.
A meme starts as something that one person either thinks is cool or funny or informative, and then it spreads from person to person to person like a virus. Now imagine there was a way to weaponize memes? All you’d have to do is upload a single image onto the internet, and the internet will do the rest – and that’s exactly what happens in Memetic.
All in all, it’s a clever idea that is brought to life by great storytelling, a colour palette that drips atmosphere and an art style that just pulls everything together.
If Memetic is new for you, there couldn’t be a better time to jump into the series or even revisit it. It’s no secret that I’m living my best life lately with all the comic-to-screen adaptions that have been heading our way, and it looks like Memetic will soon follow suit. We recently learned that a movie adaption was in the works, led by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Mattson Tomlin.
Considering Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are responsible for bringing Preacher and The Boys to our screens, I can’t help but be excited to see what they do with Memetic.
Want to grab Memetic for yourself? Head over to Critters and Comics. The series is currently available in the following formats: Digital; Single Issues (3 Issues) or as a single Trade Paperback – You can also save 20% off all IN-STOCK items until 1 July 2021. Use JustInTheGlitchOfTime at checkout*. *Only applicable on orders above R300.