Lure (2021)

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    Prefer To Swim In Indie Waters…

    In this SF graphic novel, a group of idealistic young artists from Earth are commissioned to collaborate on a corporate art project for a planet that has been colonized for luxury living.
    The world’s elite use the ocean planet of Lure as a luxury vacation hub for a decade. But when climate change threatens Earth’s long-term habitability, many of those who can afford it move to Lure for good. When the opportunity to work there for a year is offered to visual artist Jo Sparta, as part of a group of artists collaborating on a large-scale installation of public art, it seems like the chance of a lifetime. But then, Jo stumbles across a nefarious plot by her corporate benefactors and feels compelled to go public.
    Lure showcases Milburn’s rich visual imagination, with the planet Lure itself an ever-seductive, otherworldly paradise against which he spotlights themes of climate change, the disparity of wealth, and the value of art – all in the service of a grippingly moral thriller.



    This is sheer propaganda, but I’m posting it because it has brand strength and because it’s almost a lesson in propaganda. I felt the same way about another comic that I actually liked called Neon Future. Lure is green propaganda while Neon Future was more about transhumanism.

    Lane Milburn’s Lure is a fantastic graphic novel of environmental anxiety
    The author’s debut graphic novel is a touching and brilliant look at how capitalist forces co-opt artistic creativity—and stymie positive change
    ByM.L. Kejera
    An hour ago
    The beginning of Lure depicts an unnamed deity coming from the stars to an alternate universe Earth in the Hadean eon, its earliest stage. The deity then creates a nearby ocean planet, Lure, from out of the volcanic Earth. Cut to billions of years later: Jo Sparta is a struggling holograph artist looking for a new beginning after a breakup. She decides to accept an offer to produce a large scale art project for a company named P, which is beginning to prepare the alien planet Lure to shelter the rich and powerful as this alternate Earth is besieged by the same climate issues as ours.

    Beautiful down to the very pattern and usage of the nine-panel grid, Lure artistically explores the concept of beginnings. It can be understood as an allegorical narrative that criticizes the current trend amongst billionaires to fantasize about escaping Earth’s climate catastrophes in space. But it’s far more than that: It guttingly captures the desolation of climate dread in the depths of its characters.

    With panels reminiscent of Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dali, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lure can perhaps best be considered surrealist sci-fi. That surrealism is felt in the deeper sense of mystery that runs through the book: Key plot details are intentionally only intimated, and several theories are presented in-universe as to what is going on, but none are ever validated. This mystery, and general aura of uncertainty, is resonant both narratively and as allegory for the suppression of climate science by various oil and gas corporations.

    Lane Milburn’s scenic, unnatural backdrops are particularly evocative of the work of Moebius. Though many technological marvels litter the book, the star attraction is holography. Jo’s love of holography, and its tension with the larger corporate purpose of P, is one of the main narrative threads of the book. Lure aesthetically ties holography to comics, as Milburn uses the nine-panel grid to explore how an actual three-dimensional laser hologram, versus the two dimensional illusions currently available, would move in a given space. Additionally, starfish imagery litters the pages of Lure. Just as a starfish can regenerate from any piece that’s cut off, any part of a hologram contains all the information of the depicted image.

    But Lure also teaches the reader to learn from its very structure. Milburn repeats the comic rhythm of its opening pages again and again throughout crucial moments in the book. Generally, splash pages give way to pages with more and more paneling, until a nine-panel grid is reached and the pattern starts back up in reverse. In regards to the current moment of frequent climate catastrophes, a cynical interpretation of Lure would declare it fatalistic.

    Perhaps it’s too hopeful a reading, but it’s not ridiculous to suggest that Lure—even down to its fundamental comic elements—is obsessed with beginnings. Not to paint doom as inevitable, but to emphasize that immediate action must be taken against those willing to destroy the environment. As a Giacometti quote included in Lure states, “It’s never a question of finishing anything, but of knowing truly how to begin, because if I could ever begin something properly, the work would be very nearly finished.”


    Propaganda, but tastefully done. LURE is a catchy name. It reminds me of Soma. LURE would be a good name for a drug. I do like sci-fi with a psychedelic flair. There was a comic a while back called Void Trip, where space hippies took Space Froot and tripped on their adventures.


    LURE Graphic Novel Gives Psychedelic Vision of Earth’s Future (Exclusive)

    Lane Milburn, the acclaimed cartoonist behind Twelve Gems, returns this November with Lure, a new science fiction graphic novel from Fantagraphics.
    By Shaun Corley

    Warning: Contains preview pages for Lure.

    Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books has announced a new graphic novel from acclaimed artist Lane Milburn, titled Lure and Screen Rant is pleased to bring readers an exclusive first look. Fantagraphic published Milburn’s first graphic novel, Twelve Gems, in 2014, and will release Lure on November 2.

    Since the 1970s, Fantagraphics Books has published some of the genre’s most highly acclaimed titles, such as Love and Rockets by the Hernandez Brothers and Daniel Clowes Eightball and Ghost World, the latter of which was adapted to a feature film. The company also publishes definitive editions of classic comic strips, such as Prince Valiant and Pogo, as well as the Disney and Peanuts archives. In 2014, Fantagraphics published Lane Milburn’s Twelve Gems. The book was a hit with critics, and cemented Milburn’s status as one of the top cartoonists working today. Milburn rose to fame in the 2000s thanks to a number of self-published comics through Close Caption Comics, a Baltimore-based comic collective. The recipient of a Xeric Grant, Milburn’s cartoons have appeared in Vice, among others; he is currently serializing a comic, titled The Mosaic, through his Patreon. Twelve Gems was billed as a “campy, trippy, sci-fi adventure” and Milburn taps this vein once again in Lure to explore ideas of wealth, art and colonialism.

    Fantagraphics Books has provided Screen Rant with a first look at Lure, including preview pages shared below. In the future, humans have colonized an alien world named Lure. The ocean planet becomes the playground of the wealthy, and when the effects of climate change start to make Earth uninhabitable, many begin to relocate to Lure. Jo Sparta, a young artist, is invited to participate in a year-long project on Lure; she and others will create a large art installation for Lure’s residents. Jo learns; however, all is not as it seems, and trouble is afoot.

    The preview pages introduce readers to Jo, seeing her leave everything she has ever known behind for this once in a lifetime opportunity; readers also see her first day on Lure as well, as she marvels at this beautiful planet. The highlight, however, is the trippy dream sequence Jo has while in hibernation, an ominous vision of things to come on the seeming paradise planet of Lure.

    Lure is tapping into many of the concerns of today’s world. Climate change is creating chaos around the world, sparking enormous forest fires in both America and Australia, as well as torrential rain and floods in other places. The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to grow, and the arts become solely the playground of the wealthy. These issues collide in Lane Milburn’s Lure, from Fantagraphics Books, making it a vital graphic novel for our times.


    Since this is propaganda from the other side, my question to you would be what Libertarian sci-fi would make a good comic book? Some of you, especially Legatus, have huge libraries. Are there any hard economic thinkers that deserve graphic novels? We need like a futurist Ayn Rand or Ron Paul. Like an Agorist in outer space. Like a deep space economic James Corbett or Catherine Austin Fitts. That would be the one. We need a comic book team that can work with Catherine Austin Fitts and bring her economic ideas for life. That’s it.

    ‘Lure’ is a journal-like comic from a different Earth

    ‘Lure’ is a journal-like comic from a different Earth

    A deeply familiar, low-energy book about eco-anxiety.
    Colin Moon

    Set in an alternate universe in the near future, Lure features an Earth that has a sister planet aptly named Lure, an ocean world where things evolved much differently than they did on Earth. Not that it matters, given mankind’s tendency toward climate destruction; Lure has been colonized by corporate ventures, with all the bland “employees first” forward-facing image and all the “but actually, rich people only” reality.

    Centered around art-school graduates and ex-lead guitarists struggling to find meaningful employment in the afterglow of youthful creative freedom, the book hits a distinct, familiar note of late-20s creative ennui — it’s definitely a book that speaks to a specific demographic of the artistically disenfranchised.

    While ostensibly a sci-fi comic about a sort of Space Dubai, Lure more closely resembles sincere, quiet autobiographical comics, books which try to accurately capture the average moments — small talk, awkward break-ups, artistic frustration — that actually make up a life.

    This character honesty takes place in such a drastically different world, one in which the ultra-hip artistic kids of our generation have drifted into middle age service positions, obnoxiously maintaining their lingo while the next generation rolls their eyes and tries to discern the artistic viability of holographic technology.

    This sci-fi journal dichotomy sets a sort of universality of both the growing pains of post-college life and the Eco-Anxiety ever looming over all of us today — in Lure, Earth is nearing its own extinction event, while the corporate owners of the resorts on Lure plot a new world for those wealthy enough to make the journey to the cruises, casinos, and clubs of the leisure class.

    Because all of this is so familiar — the rich destroying the Earth while the young and poor try to figure out how to make a living — Lure reads as a warning parable, one that illustrates that these sorts of conflicts might be inevitable no matter how spectacular the world might be; the implication that the second planet only awaits the same future—and the protagonists’ inability to make a difference—means that the book has a ‘final call to action’ energy to it.

    The book, for all its sci-fi charms and familiarity of character, is very low-energy. Things move slowly, conflict comes late, and no character development ever quite completes its arc to satisfaction. This isn’t terribly damning, as it simply mirrors life. None of us can be said to be fully committed to the change required to shift the planet off its destructive path, and most of the millennial generation cannot quite find its way to satisfying, self-sufficient employment without somehow buying into the corporate world that continues to oppress us.

    The social, ecological, and emotional overtures of the book don’t exactly feel as strong as the book wants them to be, however, as there isn’t a lot of tension being sustained throughout its narrative. Concepts are presented and abandoned, a Goddess bookends our narrative without purpose, and while the novelty of the planet Lure is intriguing, our characters never quite engage with its complexities in any meaningful way.

    Lure is a quiet document of ecological anxiety and post-graduate ennui, and while it is familiar and cozy, it never quite manages to commit itself to its own concerns; in this fault, it only mirrors our own inaction.

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