Clockworx as a comic is one of those rare things that is very interesting to us as a South African audience. It is a collection of 8 stories created and drawn all by up and coming South African comic book writers and artists. Clockworx is a compendium of the thought-provoking and the utterly bizarre at times, but each story is designed to get you thinking in ways you might never have before.
The collection begins with Perspective, a war-torn apocalyptic world, where the art does all the talking the viewer needs to understand this grizzly world. From there, we get pushed back down into an altogether more contemporary world with High Octane, a story involving the life of a down on his luck Afrikaans man from Durban, and his fun-loving assistant who decide that they are going to build a spaceship. The next is The Way of Death, a clearly anime inspired adventure where we are dropped into an age-old conflict between a demon and a samurai in a pseudo-Japanese world. Interspersed with this at the centre of the book is an interesting take on traditional condom adverts, with two robots acting out a safe-sex scenario.
The book continues with George the SS Pilot, a highly cartoonish adventure of the titular Nazi pilot, who discovers one day that he is in fact Jewish genetically. Soberly following afterwards is Nomenclatorque, a dark and vivid poem about life, death and existence, juxtaposed against a gothic background of events. The next story, Oscar and the Genie, is far more traditionally cartoony again, and presents a typical story of morality, especially involving Genies. The final concluding story, Asphinxiate, tells the tale of mankinds fascination with the secrets of Mars, and what might be found there.
None of these stories have any narrative link, aside from each presenting often a sometimes bizarre conclusion and view on reality. Each story is vividly different thanks to the varying artwork, which ranges from traditional cartoons, to dark poetic drawings, to anime, to computer graphic creations. The book manages to maintain an air of local South African-ness about it, while at the same time definitely having aspects that could appeal globally. All in all, Clockworx is a wonderful opportunity for South Africans to get to appreciate South African artists and story makes in this medium.
Find out more at the Gaining Velocity website: gaining-velocity.com