Vault Comics announced a new psychedelic sci-fi thriller for its catalog, Mentality. Written by Zack Kaplan (Eclipse, Port of Earth) and illustrated and colored by the Eisner-winning artist John J. Pearson (blue in green), the series is denoted by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (The blue flame, towards the engine) and designed by Tim Daniel.
Mentality centers on four graduate students who accidentally discover mind control, put it into an app, and set out to free over a billion users from technological addiction. The question is to liberate the world or to control it? The publisher describes it as “a cautionary tale of how idealistic dreams are corrupted, how our own minds are locked in an existential battle with technology, and perhaps, how we might win it.”
Read the full synopsis here:
“When an introverted Stanford tech geek, dreaming of changing the world, accidentally discovers a form of mind control, he and his friends do something unexpected – they put science into a meditation app to help users to break their addiction to other manipulative technologies and platforms.But after their rise to power, a series of murders and a series of mind games, their app Mindset supersedes all rival social media and achieves a cult following. a billion users, and they have to ask the question: are they helping people or controlling them?
“Mentality is a stunning sci-fi thriller about four wide-eyed graduate students who discover mind control and put it into an app, and a dark journey that follows twists and turns, murder and mystery, love and heartbreak across the world nonsense of overnight technopreneurs and social media empires,” Kaplan said. “But the show is really about a dilemma we all feel today. How do we use devices, social media and apps to connect with each other and feel influential without allowing technology to influence the choices we make and the thoughts we have? We believe the timing of history couldn’t be more socially respectful, as we’ve increased our reliance on technology more than ever, but as Silicon Valley tightens its digital grip on our behavior, mind control exists right now.
“Eisner-winning artist John Pearson offers a creative vision in the footsteps of Bill Sienkiewicz and Dave McKean, and Eisner-worthy scholar Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou brings a level of artistry to lettering that is at higher level,” Kaplan continued. “We pursued a very collaborative and cohesive approach with the intention of creating a multi-layered comic experience, which made working with brilliant editor Adrian Wassel and the entire Vault Comics team such a perfect union here. Give us your ideas and prepare to see them blown away!
“I set out to consider a range of divergent approaches to art to reflect the nature of history, blending traditional and digital approaches in a tactile way,” Pearson added. “The artwork is not just an extension of the story, it is substantial and distinct, with its own visual narrative. We’ve developed a story where we deal with themes surrounding social media, abuse of power, and mind control, all in a post-truth setting. The questions I push throughout the series with the art reflect and subvert these themes, causing the viewer to question what they see and the reliability of the art presented to them, alongside (and sometimes against) the narrative. It aims to be more than just an illustrated thriller, I want it to be a tangible experience with the reader as an active participant, with us guiding them through a story they can revisit over and over again.
Mentality #1 hits store shelves in June 2022. The series will feature a range of stunning variants of Martin Simmonds (The Department of Truth, Friendo).