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The Changers: Evolution is Our Right
The Changers: Our Obligation to the Future
Ezra Clayton Daniels
Dream Chocolate, 94 and 94 pages


Ezra Clayton Daniels
The Changers 1
The Changers 2
Ezra Clayton Daniels
Ezra Clayton Daniels was born in 1979 in Sioux City, Iowa. During high school, he did an internship at a design firm. Some years later he began working for a business specializing in litigation design and medical illustration. When the business moved, he stayed in Portland Oregon to do some freelance work and continue his interests working in film and comics.

Ezra Clayton Daniels Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

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Bisso and Geaza are two young men sent three million years back into the past -- to our present -- in order to become a catalyst in the evolutionary chain of events. In this future, humans have attained all possible things, they have evolved as far as they can go and they want more, they feel that they can become more. So they create these two, genetically engineering men. If they live at least 150 years, the chemicals that they shed through their pores will give humanity the evolutionary shot it needs to fulfill a greater promise. Bisso and Geaza are living quiet, if boring, lives, not knowing if they've succeeded or failed, until a strange looking creature finds them. He bears a message: that they've succeeded beyond humanity's hopes, and that the future people of the Earth thanks them for their sacrifice. But as they learn of the nature of this visitor, they are forced to wonder if they really did succeed, or if they failed in the most horrific way.

Ezra Clayton Daniels asks many questions about our existence as individuals and as a whole race (in the human sense, though the skin color sense also comes into play.). In his own way, he is trying to weigh us, to see if, like Bisso and Geaza, our missions on this world are worth validation. In the graphic, main story and in the prose "observation reports" that come between the chapters, Daniels tackles many issues, sometimes using satire, sometimes just delving into the perspectives that a person from three million years in the future would have on our world. Religion and faith, friendship, responsibility and the right to existence are all challenged and discussed here. It might seem like a lot to be covered in such a short amount of time, but Daniels has a way with story and dialogue that he is able to open these issues for discussion while maintaining an interesting, well moving plot. Our travelers are quite likable, even though they are not perfectly human -- their perspectives, their actions, are sometimes slightly off, which is proper, considering who they are. Shelley, their neighbor, is our everywoman figure, the person that the reader is often able to connect with more readily, because she is one of us and her affection for her two slightly mysterious neighbors is undeniable.

The Changers's art is well done. Daniels has a very interesting style, definitely an artistic voice all his own. Using black, white and two shades of gray, he is able to create well detailed scenes that add a lot to the feel of the story. (Actually, this is not precisely accurate. The paper is, itself, gray, and the black has a touch of green in it which gives it a better look.) His vision of what the world may become, as revealed by his art, is not a reassuring picture, but one that is sometimes quite horrific. He also has a gift for expressions. His faces, his ways of having his characters act, make them very real. The third time traveler from the future, Oscar, doesn't look very human, but his expressions are often incredibly endearing despite his strange, almost ugly, form.

The titles themselves say it all...especially if you add "what is..." to the mix: What is our evolutionary right? What is our obligation to the future? Bisso and Geaza may (or may not) find out, but perhaps the reader can draw their own conclusions from the ultimate actions the characters are forced to do.

Copyright © 2004 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at www.apenandfire.com.


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