Advance Review: Contraband

Coming in April from Markosia. This is a social media thriller!

When a hacker shifts a social media apps’ control to any creator of its top-ranked video, rampant violence and privacy invasion ensues – as people everywhere chase the money, fame and power of being #1.
Toby gets caught recording an illegal video transaction. A self-styled citizen journalist, he’s forced to hunt down Charlotte, an activist sabotaging a ruthless entrepreneur’s dark web social media app. His search leads him into a voyeur underground where profit-hungry youths prowl city streets secretly inciting, staging and filming violent events to satisfy society’s demand for sensational content…

Written By Thomas Behe – Artwork By Phil Elliott

It’s Monday morning and you’re back online after a weekend. The first thing you do is fire up your social media. It may be TikTok, Twitter or Facebook. Contraband brings you something more, a darker underbelly of social media and the things that people will do to be number one.

This is a thriller by the classic standard, as well as adding in some nice modern twists.

Fight Club meets The Social Network?

There are some excellent introductions of the characters in this story – building them up and giving us a proper look at the sot of characters they are. I like the way they all are given their own personalities. The twists and turns in this story makes sense.

We move around a lot in this story, not only in terms of a physical location, but also in time. Back and forth until all the items add up at the end. It is artfully plotted and I can imagine some type of massive spider diagram as the writer put this together.

This is a story which would not be out of place with TV series Spooks or the movies like the Bourne ones. Moving fast when it needs to, but also giving us time to collect and catch our breath.
There is a lot to learn here, with technology and the way the world here works – but, the expositions included work well and build up the story well.

Toby is an interesting character. He gets caught up in all of this and as he realises what he is up against, it moves on.

There are four other characters in this story and they all have their time to shine – some shine more than others, but there is some excellent storytelling there.

The way this story builds is excellent. Jumping back and forth to give you context and information. It is well done, and doesn’t take away from the pacing of the story.

I really enjoyed the art style. There was a lot to take on board here, and different things to show. Not only the larger crowd scenes, but action and violence. Not only implied, but shown too. The different characters are shown well and all have their own distinct looks.

In all this was a compelling, and thrilling read, with an excellent and eventful ending.

Is this a future for social media, or a warning? Things will never know, but the amazing part of this read was that it all could happen.

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Thomas, Phil and their wonderful book into our growing family – and looking forward to working closely with them to ensure Contraband is read once more in all its glory!

Harry Markos (Markosia)

Contraband is will be out by the end of April in comic shops and Comixology / DriveThrucomics / other digital comics + Amazon / B&N / Play / Apple / other online bookstores + independent / bookstoresout in April of 2021 from Markosia and you can check out the details here.

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