By Abraham Martínez, translated by Montana Kane (NBM)
ISBN: 978-1-68112-268-7 (HB) eISBN: 978-1-68112-269-4
Do you want to read something that is really scary?
Almost everybody loves a good cathartic chiller, but every one of us also has a point where it stops being safe entertainment and becomes instead disturbing, unsettling and extremely unwelcome. For me – and Spanish author Abraham Martínez – it’s clearly the terrifying prospect envisioned in his 2017 graphic novel translated for profitable outreach by those fine folk at NBM.
Of course, the concept of a corporate superstate is not new, but I’ve never seen it better thought out or more crushingly realised down to the finest penny-pinching detail than here… and I’ve been reading Judge Dredd since 1977…
Rendered in drear industrial tones (mostly neutral greens and basic blues) and shapes very reminiscent of bog-standard informational stencil forms in a devastatingly underplayed agitprop manner, Plutocracy ostensibly follows one insignificant drone through a corporate landscape as he breaks free and begins digging for answers in a world where profit is everything.
After years of closer and closer ties between big business and national governments, in 2051 the last corporations swallowed each other and merged into one all-encompassing unit – “the Company” – that simply bought out nationhood and established a system to cost-effectively run the world. Everybody worked for, were paid by and bought goods and services from the same entity: a perfect perpetual motion machine for society.
They even managed to remain democratic, though there was only ever one party or candidate to vote for on any occasion.
Detective Homero Durant grew bored when the majority of police work became desk-based investigations involving fraud and deception. With precious little to do, he took a career sidestep and eventually became a writer.
Growing increasingly interested in how the world has reached its present state, he applies to write a book about it, and is astounded to discover, instead of closed ranks and obfuscation, the powers that be welcome his project and provide every possible access, even to personal interviews with the far-sighted mogul who had single-handedly engineered the death of nations and triumph of the Plutocracy…
As the deeply suspicious investigator plunges on meeting nothing but cooperation at every step, his resolve begins to falter, but his tell-all exposé has taken on a life of its own, and nothing can stop it from becoming the biggest sensation in The Company’s past history or projected profit forecasts…
Dark, bleak and brimming with mordant satire, this trenchant tale is an ideal metaphor and warning for our times and one no contemplative rational consumer can afford to miss.
© Text & illustrations Abraham Martínez 2017 © Bang. ediciones, 2017. © 2020 NBM for the English translation.
Plutocracy: Chronicles of a Global Monopoly is scheduled for release in hardback on November 19th and digitally on December 15th 2020, and is available for pre-order now.
NBM books are also available in digital formats. For more information and other great reads see http://www.nbmpub.com/