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Transmetropolitan VOL 04:
It's no wonder he hates it here. Spider Jerusalem, journalist and hero of sorts in Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan, wades through a sewer of poverty and high-tech despair daily in his efforts to understand and report on America. In The New Scum, Ellis contrasts the powerful, in the form of presidential candidates, with the powerless, who are begging and hustling on the streets. The satire is savage and rarely subtle, but the author takes care to show some human warmth lest the comic descend into the nihilism it warns against. The plot, largely secondary to the characters and background events, focuses loosely on Jerusalem's assignment to interview the two candidates, each psychotic and unfit for any office. His bodyguard and personal assistant, meanwhile, discover the terrors of pleasure in a post-nanotech world with unlimited credit. The election-eve climax fully captures the anxiety and depression that come from having no real choice in matters of great importance. Either Ellis or his creation deserves a Pulitzer. --Rob Lightner [via]