So in previous posts I’ve given you a short course in the history of Teknophage; or at least my part of it. Last fall, after being nearly twenty years out of print, SuperGenius brought out handsome new collections of the material.
The collection includes mine and Brian’s six issue run as well as Paul Jenkins and Al Davison’s four issue follow up. The book opens with a 20 page crossover special called Wheel Of Worlds that provides the backstories and origins of all the Tekno characters. I found this a little out of place as the reader is introduced to dozens of characters who never appear in the actual Teknophage comic. But beyond that, the material is presented beautifully and the Veitch/Talbot and Jenkins/Davison stories neatly dovetail.
The political edge to the concept holds up rather well, considering the massive transfer of wealth from the middle-class to the super-rich which the world has witnessed since 1995. The indignities of modern corporate employment are clearly, if insanely, predicted all through Teknophage. Cup of Koffup, anyone?
SuperGenius has not been able or, perhaps, willing to tackle the marketing problem. To the uninitiated, the book appears to be written by Neil Gaiman. Bryan’s and my credits were on promotional images of the front cover (see below) but left off of the final version. Neil Gaiman’s Teknophage is in wide distribution (by Macmillan) and I’ve seen copies in pretty much every bookstore I’ve been in. Sadly, the whole exercise has the scent of a publishing sleight of hand that exploits Neil, as well as his fans.
Not to mention the actual artists and writers who created the material. And I had to ask SuperGenius to get a single comp copy. It has not escaped me that perhaps a book about a rapacious business predator almost requires the exploitation of its creators.
Please don’t let all that get in the way of your enjoying Teknophage though. It actually is a very cool book and I am proud of my part in making it.