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Review – Clockwork Watch – The Arrival

Original Story:  Yomi Ayeni
Adapted by:  Corey Brotherson
Artwork, Lettering and Cover by:  Jennie Gyllblad
Title Design by: Fabio Duarte Martins

This beautifully drawn and conceived graphic novel is set in Victorian England, close to the end of Queen Victoria’s life.

The story begins:

“London. Steam billows out from every corner of the city while huge Zeppelin airships float in the sky overhead. Enter the world of Clockwork Watch, a place where Victorian values are coupled with anachronistic technology, not the least of which are the Clockwork Servants – the mechanical slaves that keep this society ticking along – this is the world of Steampunk.”

The novel has all the hallmarks of the steampunk genre, which are apparent in the opening lines, but there is a twist which sets it apart from most steampunk plots. The hero, Janav, arrives in London with his family from Calcutta. His father, Chan Ranbir, is the Head of Sciences at Calcutta University, who is working on a project called “Clockwork.” Janav meets an automaton named “B” whom he promptly renames Ashwin, which is the name of Janav’s best friend in Calcutta.

Unfortunately, Janav quickly encounters people and events which both anger and frighten him.

What happens next? The reader is given some clues, but certainly has more questions, about Janav’s future and the role Ashwin Number Two has in it.

There is an introduction by the creator, Yomi Ayeni, as well as an article by Corey Brotherson about the art of adaptation. Design, illustration and concepts by Jennie Gyllblad round out the publication.

I learned about this project via a IndieGoGo promotion in 2011, and it has been fascinating following the team as it produced not only the graphic novel, but the entirety of its production to create a transmedia experience.  IndieGoGo named this project one of its best of 2011.

By way of full disclosure, I did make a contribution and am very pleased with the result. I’m looking forward to the next installment!

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