Sunday, June 16, 2013

Templar, Arizona Vol. 3: And a Stick to Beat the Devil With

by Spike

Among the books that I was most hoping to be able to pick up at TCAF this year were the last two volumes (so far) of Templar, Arizona, Spike's bizarre alternate world webcomic set in that strange location.  The series follows the inhabitants of one apartment building in this fully-realized and thoroughly imaginative town.

Volume 3 is mostly focused on the fringe religions of Templar.  We discover that Gene, the seriously academically challenged father of Zora, comes from a family of Jakeskins.  This religion is obsessed with race, categorizing each race with numbers and a role in the world after civilization falls.  They carry knives, shave their heads, and apparently use their naked children to beg for money.  When Gene's family comes to visit, Scipio, the downstairs neighbour, worries that Gene should not be allowed to raise Zora, which leads to a big argument with Reagan, his closest friend.

The back-up story focuses on Moz and Sunny, and their connection to the Nile Revivalist faith.

There are some other things going on too - Ben has a strange encounter with his drunken neighbour, and Scipio gets peed on in the course of doing his body-guarding job, and gets his computer stolen, but most of the volume is centred on religion.

Spike's work is pretty fascinating.  It has a very untraditional rhythm to it, and the story would barely make sense without the endnotes, but it is a lot of fun to read.

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