Created by Gustaffo Vargas.
A5 size (21cm x 14.8cm / 5.8inch x 8.2inch) full colour, 32 pages.
Published by tacutinta Press.
The Story - ‘L1MA is a science fiction comic about Pirañas, Vultures, Robots and Mafias set in a dystopian Perú. ‘
The Review - Let’s look at the cover first. It is a gloriously gorey affair that goes to exhibit much of what you’ll find on the insides of this comic. It shows a bird like creature that is somewhere between a crow and a buzzard with creepy cybernetic attachments. You find later that these nightmarish creatures are called ‘Gallinazos’ (aka ‘Black Vultures’). This predator is chewing on a rat with an electronic headset and blood is everywhere. That’s what I want on my covers!
This is all about the aforementioned predators, who come in may forms and guises, and the people they prey upon in a city of bad dreams and violence in every street and on every roof. This bucks the curve for some newer entires in the Cyberpunk genre in that it really takes the people, in this case some thieving street kids, as the heart of the story. They run and chase and escape horrific fates yet still scrabble and steal to survive.
The book opens on one of these crimes and if you can get past the eye-searingly bad spelling mistake shouted out as both shock and exposition this starts quite the rollercoaster of a story. The story takes you all over the future city of Lima with a population of 14.8m that is crammed into decrepit housing and dirty streets. This extreme poverty is counterpointed with the almost disease like cybernetic attachments at every turn. Even the poorest of the poor exhibit minimal enhancements and luminous tattoo like features. These sci-fi and cultural visual notes add texture and plot in this amazingly detailed comic. Street scenes show mood and action simultaneously.
The embattled street urchins find a cybernetically changed squid that may of may not contain ‘Unicorn porn’ and the world then begins to crash even further around their ears. Death is brutal and sudden and remorseless. The bullets burst though walls and through bodies and leave blood red trails. I found this to be a beautifully visual treat to read in every panel.
Vargas takes stylistic chances all over the shop and in my opinion they all pay off. He goes from action in the bright baking sun where you can see the veins in the bloodshot eyes of the ghastly and crazy creatures to moments in pure silhouette. He also never scrimps on crowd scenes or background details. Every page is full to the brim.
My only question is why I have never read this before?!?!?
Find a copy at https://gustaffovargas.bigcartel.com/product/l1ma or follow the creator on Twitter @GustaffoVargas or on Instagram @gustaffovargastataje
Many thanks for reading.