Vastly ambitious, XX is the most astonishing blend of narrative, meta-narratives and visuals. Real ‘wow’ moments and big ideas combine with brilliant typographical flourishes to create the Moby Dick of sci-fi.
There’s a close encounter on the moon, while on earth, a lateral-thinking genius manages to translate a mysterious signal from outer space into a trio of AI constructs: a foppish dandy, a very modern girl and a sort of metal behemoth. Each with their own typeface, the medium really is the message.
Yet these are quibbles. “How do you kill a bad idea?” the DMEn ask rhetorically at one point. “You have a better one.” Equally you can sustain a good idea by presenting it in a new way. If the “novel, graphic” is unlikely to supplant the “novel, conventional” (or the graphic novel) any time soon, it does offer a surprisingly enjoyable variation on the theme.