Terminarch is the story of a future where androids have taken over, but because they can’t create art on their own, they conscript humans to do so. However, the androids have apparently killed off all of the non-artists. Or have they?
Not exactly like this song….
Terminarch is a good story. It’s written by Jordan Hart, art is by Terry Huddleston, edited by Siike Donnelly, and it’s from Ossm Comics. A lot of it is infodump (or infodumb, as somebody once put it at the old place), but it’s entertaining enough. We find one of the androids, Servius, out in the woods of Maine in the year 2054, as he’s looking for Martin Allerton, the last non-artist human. Allerton has his own secrets and reasons for having escaped society for the last thirty years.
Terminarch is the term for the last member of a species, and Servius attempts to convince Allerton to help him fight back against the other androids by aligning with the Dada group that won’t go along with the android plan of benign enslavement of artists. Servius has a pretty good ace in the hole to get Allerton to go along with him.
Terminarch was a one shot (and I haven’t seen anything from Ossm in awhile), but it does have a frustrating non-ending, setting up for a continuation. Yes, the story could end there and we don’t HAVE to know what the conclusion is, but I’m pretty sure that Hart wants to continue this.
It’s interesting deep philosophical stuff, about who creates art and how, what is the spark, and the role of an artist in society. I think that, probably, androids and AI will be able to create some form of art, but it won’t have the spark that humans bring to the table.
The art is decent, some widescreen panels are used, some backgrounds are spotty in places. People have the stiffness that makes them look like they’ve been photoreferenced a lot, not unlike Ken Krekeler’s art in Westward or Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven, or even Jamie McKelvie’s art, to a degree. It shows the emotion fairly well, though.
Overall, Terminarch is a pretty good oneshot about the role of art in the world, and how humans may never truly be replaced by androids.
If you click above, you can get to Amazon, where apparently you can order this, or you can order something else entirely, like Flight of the Conchords stuff, and help keep the Atomic Junk Shop going either way.