‘Read Only Memories #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The beautiful visual aesthetics of the cyberpunk adventure game, Read Only Memories, have come to the comic book page in this comic book adaptation. In the Christmas of 2064 in Neo-San Francisco, CA, Parallax has created a product called ROMs (Relationship and Organizational Managers), a set of personal assistant robots made to replace phones and computers. The role of the player is to be a journalist searching for their lost friend and Parallax engineer Hayden Webber. During this adventure, they’re aided by Turing, who is created by Hayden and the first of sapient machines, robots that are capable of emotions and can grow.

The game itself was initially funded by Kickstarter in 2013 and made its release on computer systems in 2015. This game is admirably known for being queer-inclusive video games. In the world of the game, it’s a future where LGBTQ+ characters are not judged for their sexuality and are given the same level of reverence as the heterosexual characters. The player is capable of picking their own personal pronouns.

Within this comic book, it’s a story about sentient AI, romance, and a thread of conspiracies. Setting itself in between the games 2064: Read Only Memories and Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, this series follows protagonist Lexi Rivers. In this newfound mystery, Rivers is a private investigator and former police detective. After a robot comes soliciting her help for a lost lover, Rivers is planted in an adventure within the idyllic beaches of Santa Cruz.

With reverent and fantastic coloring by Stefano Simeone, this future embraces all-things neon. Simeone’s unique figures for the narrators portrays the vibrant and visual language from the video games whilst still managing to be a compellingly unique artist. Moreso, Sina Grace’s narrative implements old, noirish aesthetics into this narrative. Furthermore, the two pages of a mini-comic with Mary Kenney as writer and Christina-Antoinette Neofotistou as the artist are joyful. Neofotistou’s pixelated artwork acts as a fun chaser following the first issue.


Creative Team: Sina Grace (writer), Mary Kenney (writer), Stefano Simeone (artist), Christina-Antoinette Neofotistou (artist), Christa Meisner (letterer)
Publisher: IDW Publishing and MidBoss
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