Words: James Tynion IV
Pictures: Eryk Donovan
They’re everywhere. Hell, entire websites have been built around them. If it weren’t for memes, where would we get our hilarious quips to share with others on Facebook. But what if memes were more than just music lyrics over cat pictures? What if they were weapons? That’s a damn spooky question that James Tynion IV is asking, and his answers so far, are damn spooky as well.
We’ve all seen them. Hell, we’ve all shared at least one. Some of us are a bit more guilty of sharing them than others. (And this time I don’t mean myself. I really don’t spread the memes that often. Really. I look at them, but I don’t necessarily share them.) But the reality is, these thing spread, not unlike a virus. Actually, they spread exactly like a virus. (Kind of like the promo art piece I’ve been seeing for this book over the past couple of months. What’s up with this smiling-thumbs-up-Sloth? I have to know!) So what if memes started to affect us like a virus? What if someone produced a meme that truly did infect us? In Memetic, that’s exactly what happens. And wouldn’t you know it, the first one to infect those who experience it is truly horrific.
While my hat is firmly off to James Tynion IV for this story that’s like a weird mash-up between Contagion/The Ring/ and Reddit, I can’t say enough about Eryk Donovan and his creation of the happy sloth meme that is the center of this tale. It’s just so damn meme-able.
This is a cool tale of the impact of social media on the spread of information. It’s both a product and a case study of our click and share society. Of how we’re so desperate to be up to date on everything, that sometimes it doesn’t matter what it is, we’ll click and share it. Even traditional media covers “what’s trending” online. It’s amazing how pervasive social media is. And, as Mr. Tynion IV points out, anything that pervasive can be potentially dangerous. I told you, spooky.
4.5 out of 5 Smiling Sloths