I must say I find it weird that Hollywood hasn't made a movie of Neil Gaiman's Teknophage yet. It's one of the best and different comics I have read. For those who didn't know, Gaiman didn't write be stories, but he invented the concept.
"Kalighoul; Earth's sister planet and home of the vile Teknophage. Teknophage! The serpent in the garden, the gourmet of souls, the embodiment of evil. To some. To others he is simply mister Henry Phage, entrepreneur and captain of industry; the jewel in the crown of the greatest business empire in creation. This is his base of operations, his house, his castle; the Phage Building. The term "building", however,is a little misleading. In actuallity, this is a mobile city, a three-mile-high juggernaught with a population of over a million. The vast majority labour and sweat in the factories, furnaces and vat rooms down below or toil in the mind-boggling office mazes higher up. The penultimate level houses the Phage's partners, the aristocracy of Kalighoul. But our story begins not here, but at the very apex of this wonder of engineering, where we now bear witness to..."
What I loved in the story; the idea of an intelligent, bipedal and millions of years old reptile with godlike powers which literally consume the souls of corrupted and evil humans. He lives in another dimension and crossed over to our world through a wormhole and brought humans back to his world, where they now live in a victorian society. The time in his world is much slower than in ours.
The steampunk and steam alchemy concept was very cool. Even the robots were steam driven.
The same with the pools where harvested humans goes through a destillation process, where the flesh turns into different needful things, and the soul is separated from the body, used either as fuel for the impressive Phage Building, containing cogwheels large as a stadion, or ends up inside his robot servants.
What I didn't like too much; the biblical references to the serpent in the garden. Teknophage's habit of eating sharks and tigers and such, simply because they are predators. Unless the meat he eats is alive, he will only consume the flesh, not the soul. Meaning that it shouldn't matter if the fat and proteins in his diet comes from herbivors like sheep and cows instrad of meat eaters.
His pet reminds a bit too much about the Thing in Addams Family.
Workers who walks on stilts. Looks a bit weird.
Microchips containing small tubes for the steam. Why use microchips at all?
The man with a television screen in his face instead of eyes. I really didn't see the idea with that.
The giant arthropod creatures as part of his experiments (not shown in this comic book, but in one of the sister comics; Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man).
Either way, the visual parts of the comic as well as its originality were impressive, and it would have turned into an amazing movie with the right budget, right scriptwriter and right director (for instance Jackson or del Toro).
Just my opinion.
Forgot. Among the thing I'm not so enthusiastic about, one of the most important things is the historical rewriting. In this comic, it is the Teknophage that gets the credits for all the human progress and invention, who has planted his seeds into a world that he will now harvest.
What's made Kalighoul so fascinating was the alternative technology, and when it turns out that the electricity and computers and so on can be traced back to some hyperintelligent reptile, the steampunk in his world then seems to be artificial in a way. He has the technology, but choose to stick to his old alchemy and steam engines for some reason. Nostalgia perhaps?
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