High tech, slow pace comics?
October 25, 2010 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend for me graphic novels that combine advanced or modern technology with a slower speed of life.

So I'd like to see well-illustrated stories that include, say, horse-drawn carriages with GPS/satnav. A sense of current (or future) technological advancement, but with the values and/or pace of an earlier time or maybe a Mennonite community. Think Shyamalan's The Village with internet and cell phones.

I'm not particularly looking for steampunk, though I wouldn't rule it out. Say what you will about the Will Smith movie Wild Wild West, that's actually probably a pretty good (albeit film) example of what I'm looking for. Kazu Kibuishi's Daisy Kutter:The Last Train is close as well. I'm not as interested in heavily Victorian stuff like might be represented by Gibson & Sterling's novel The Difference Engine, but feel free to throw in great examples of similar themes in graphic form.
Neither story nor art is more important than the other. A poor showing in either category can be made up for by awesomeness in the other. Keep in mind I'm not that knowledgeable of the genre, so my standards my be way lower than yours.
Also only tangentially related, but certainly possibilities: dystopian future; post-apocalyptic/last few people on earth; space colonies; alternate histories. Non-graphic suggestions will also be explored.

One last stipulation: I'd strongly prefer them to be "clean": no nudity, overt sexuality, heavy drug use, gratuitous or graphic violence, or swearing. Something you could share with your grandma or a junior high class.

Thanks so much!
posted by attercoppe to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Are manga series okay? If so, Aria springs to mind.
posted by fearthehat at 2:50 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Another manga recommendation: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō.
posted by martinrebas at 3:21 PM on October 25, 2010 [4 favorites]

Is "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" something you're looking for?

It combines late Victorian characters (Jekyll/Hyde, Capt. Nemo, The Invisible Man, Allan Quartermain, and Mina Murry) band together to combat nefarious plots that threaten the world.

As far as contemporary or future science goes. . .
Volume I deals with "cavorite" a material used to float heavier than air craft.

Volume II deals with fighting Martian invaders.

I've read Vol I and it's fantastic!

They're not toooooo racy but you may want to check them out just to make sure.
posted by Lord Fancy Pants at 3:50 PM on October 25, 2010

I would consider League of Extraordinary Gentlemen quite racy. The most recent volume actually contains pornography (albeit a parody of porn, but it's explicit nonetheless).

I'm having a hard time coming up with a non-racy example. Guess that just goes to show what my tastes are.
posted by Tesseractive at 3:58 PM on October 25, 2010

I'd strongly prefer them to be "clean": no nudity, overt sexuality, heavy drug use, gratuitous or graphic violence, or swearing.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen includes all of that, and is most certainly unsuitable for your purposes.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:36 PM on October 25, 2010

I definitely second Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō. It's a slice-of-life manga that takes place in a peaceful but doomed world and revolves around the daily activities of an android. Reading it actually puts me in a really calm and contemplative mindset (it's that kind of read) - so if you want a slowly paced graphic novel, this one is great.
posted by hotchocolate at 7:27 PM on October 25, 2010

Full Metal Alchemist *might* have what you're looking for. While they don't have advanced technology in everything (trains instead of cars and phones instead of cell phones) they have fully functioning artificial limbs (even on animals) and other steam punkery type stuff.
posted by patheral at 8:03 PM on October 25, 2010

Yeah, I thought of Full Metal Alchemist, too, but it's pretty violent IMO. This question is harder to answer than I first thought, actually, because of those conditions.
posted by misozaki at 10:53 PM on October 25, 2010

I don't know that you'd call it "advanced" technology, but Cathedral Child and Clockwork Angels by Lea Hernandez are both steampunk graphic novels (not manga) with a slower pace.

In terms of true sci-fi, I was also thinking of Aqua/Aria and Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko. The only other manga series I can think of is Saturn Apartments.
posted by clerestory at 12:54 AM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Akiko on the Planet Smoo might be up your alley - an excellent kid's series from the '90s. (Not Manga, tho the main character is ethnically Japanese).
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:45 AM on October 26, 2010

Thanks, all! I've not marked any best because it will take me a bit to explore these. Points, though, to clerestory for introducing me to the Comics Worth Reading site.
posted by attercoppe at 6:28 PM on October 27, 2010

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