Notables 2010: Simon Roy’s Jan’s Atomic Heart

Simon Roy, Jan’s Atomic Heart, 2009.

I just re-read the very lengthy preview available of Jan’s Atomic Heart, and thought, this comic is really great. Why is nobody talking about this comic? What’s up with New Reliable Press? Who the hell is Simon Roy? He let his domain lapse, and now it’s being squatted by fake-v**gr* sellers (don’t let this happen to you, kids!), he’s probably Canadian, and I can’t find anything but an unrevealing Deviantart page for him. This might actually be a student work, which, if true, blows my mind. OK, yes, I’m a sucker for sci-fi, but it’s so rare that a pure sci-fi work comes out in comics, without any guns or bounty-hunters to speak of, anyway, that this should be of interest to even those who don’t share my tastes.

Jan was in an accident and has a trade-in robot body while his real one is in the shop. It might be connected to terrorists. That’s the crux. But it’s also drawn with great elegance in pen and ink wash, and told in a naturalistic, confident, cinematic mode. The dialogue is strong and believable. It’s just a stand-out all around, and I hope there’s more where this came from.

Bonus, I found a great “how Jan’s Atomic Heart came to be” map on Roy’s deviantart. Very clever and revealing about how a project like this hits the stands.

To Simon Roy: More, please.

Edit: Here’s his new website.

Age: teen

What is this “Notable” thing all about? Matt and Jessica are the series editors for the Best American Comics, and are responsible for the Notable Comics list at the back of the book, which is comprised of virtually all the comics we sent to the guest editor that weren’t picked, as well as a number of others that we think are noteworthy for various reasons, but that we didn’t send to the guest editor.

We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC. Realistically, though, we know that’s tough. What can you know about a story from a title and author? So this is one of a series of posts focusing on each of the Notables from the 2010Best American Comics.

Have or know of a comic we should look at? Find submission info here.

The “age” suggestion is what we think might be the minimum age for reading and appreciating a work. All works on the list, though, should appeal to older audiences too. It’s a minimumsuggestion only.



5 Comments to Notables 2010: Simon Roy’s Jan’s Atomic Heart

  • by Jahhdog

    On April 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the heads up on this book. I really enjoy the art though the hand lettering is a little rough in places.

    Gonna try and track down a book!


  • by Jessica

    On April 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    The lettering is rough, but surprisingly readable nonetheless. Like I said, I think this is a debut book, and of course there is room for improvement, but still. Simon Roy, if you’re reading this, get an Ames lettering guide!

  • by Jahhdog

    On April 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Yes. He is still in school.

    I went to his blog and ordered a copy of the book after reading some of the sample pages…


  • by loren

    On April 11, 2011 at 1:04 am

    I’m really proud to own a copy of simon’s debut masterpiece!
    and can’t wait for more of his great work!

  • by via

    On April 12, 2011 at 6:35 am

    yay for simon!

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