“There are a lot of different things I can say are themes in Made in Korea. I am just not quite sure what they constitute. There’s a touch of consumerism certainly, the future of the human race appears to be implied, secrets, parenthood and artificial intelligence are all in the mix as well. It’s a combination of a lot of things but this being just the first issue we only scratch the surface of them.”
Story: Jeremy Holt
Art: George Schall
Lettering: Adam Wollet
There are a lot of different things I can say are themes in Made in Korea. I am just not quite sure what they constitute. There’s a touch of consumerism certainly, the future of the human race appears to be implied, secrets, parenthood and artificial intelligence are all in the mix as well. It’s a combination of a lot of things but this being just the first issue we only scratch the surface of them.
The plot, as I understand it, is that in the future people struggle to have children so those with money can buy synthetic children, who are like robots? Except one guy in Korea has invented a code to make the children act like real children, however, to keep it from the company he works for he uploads it into a kid that gets shipped to a couple in the US.
That’s essentially the plot here as this first issue feels like we are in the setup zone. This is no bad thing since we require setup, especially for such a high end sci-fi concept. I do think that this setup will read better in trade as a result. Though if you are reading this as a single issue there is enough to ground you and get you interested.
As I said there are several themes going on here. People who can’t have children buy a child. Do they want the child? Is the child a possession? What does this mean for the future of humanity? Will these children ever grow up? What happens if the consumer gets tired of them as they might any other gadget? But these are things that will hopefully be revealed in later issues.
What is interesting as well is the fact we have half the story taking place in South Korea and the other in the US. The Korean side seems to hinge around the fact that this code can seemingly create a real child, but the man who has created it, Chul, doesn’t want to lose it to the company he works for. We see that Chul is determined yet we don’t know what his motivations are.
Whereas the US side revolves around Bill and Suelynn Evans who see their richer friends with a child proxy and it sets them off on a path to getting one of their own. Except the child proxy that arrives, Jesse, is not what they expected. It will be interesting to see how they adapt to this unusual child proxy who seems to have far more potential than she should have.
The colouring really helps set the two different settings apart. South Korea is given a very green tinge which seems very in keeping with the technological feel and the impersonality of a company manufacturing child proxies. Whereas the US is portrayed with much more earthy colours.
The characters are a really nice focus to the art as well. They feel very dynamic and there’s some really nice work to show even little characterful movements that really helps bring them to life. The backgrounds can be minimalist but that gives a clear focus to the characters. It works well.
Overall this is a first issue and feels like it, but there should be enough here to at least interest you.