Once upon a time The King of Abacus was seduced by a maid, Virusos; though he would call off his affair when the Queen became pregnant, send Virusos (who was also pregnant) away from Abacus, and rekindle his relationship with his wife, the seeds of the future had been sowed and what would be reaped is the story of “The City of Abacus.” Singer, songwriter V. V. Brown and company bring the world of Abacus alive, in a neo-Orwellian world where thoughts are control by being erased; free thought and individuality quelled and destroyed by a machine, the MX-41. In a nutshell, they have created and written a tale of a dystopia more harrowing than Orwell could have ever imagined.
Written by V.V. Brown and David Allain, illustrated by Emma Price, and storyboarded by David Allain, this is the story of a young girl, Freeda (the daughter of the King), who like much of the youth of this generation, inherits a world that has lost freedom of thought, objectivity, and creativity. The fantasy world of Abacus is the perfect analogy of our world, which through the constant saturation of media and the Internet, faux reality television, and the obsession with celebrity culture, has become numb, misinformed, and detached from reality. And just as Orwell’s generation’s anxiety and emotions in 1948 was jumbled into “1984,” V.V. Brown and company brings this generation’s into “City of Abacus.” This is not your typical graphic narrative; this is the story for a generation fighting for liberation of thought.
Why would a music blog write about a graphic novel? Besides my admiration and love for V.V. Brown’s music, it is refreshing to see an artist engage another medium and explore her creativity in a new venue. Further, there is a sense of urgency and relevance to this narrative that makes it important. As the world keeps turning, it is important to question and challenge what has been inherited; it is important to question what are the constraints on free thought and expression. And for this reason, I encourage all of you to enjoy a bit of escapism and get a hold of this comic that will chime strongly with truths.
From 7 May 2010 through November, one issue will be released monthly, culminating in a graphic novel to commemorate the epic tale. Accompanying each issue will be the opportunity to download a song that musically represents the narrative. After the publication of the graphic novel, the songs will be released as an album.
The comic will be distributed through Diamond Comic and available in hardcopy at a store near you, or you could go to The City of Abacus website and purchase online. From 7 May 2010 to 29 May 2010, a “City of Abacus” exhibition will be running at The Book Club in Shoreditch, East London.
For more information, please visit the “City of Abacus” homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. (Also, keep up with V.V. Brown at her homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.)