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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