Star circuit is an adrenaline-fueled, cyberpunk racing adventure inspired by the likes of Akira, F-Zero, and Blade runner.
After all human attempts have ended in tragedy, one street racer, Atlys Metric, is still convinced that with the help of a long-forgotten racing legend he can win a championship full of unbeatable androids and save what’s left of his broken family. Let’s dive into the first turbocharged chapter in this fresh cyberpunk racing mini-series.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
“Star Circuit: Chapter 1” is written and Illustrated by Joe Catapano. He is an American comic book artist and creator. His passion for the arts and storytelling began in his early 20s has he completed a schooling degree in Computer Animation. Influences from anime, 90’s comic books, and science fiction novels ultimately led him to create his debut comic book, Star Circuit.
His artwork emphasizes draftsmanship, vibrancy, and relatability while his writing strives for dramatizing universal themes. Joe has a passion for sharing his knowledge of art fundamentals and has contributed comic art tutorials to www.howtodrawcomics.net as well as his own YouTube channel. Currently, Joe continues to work on the future installments of Star Circuit.
The lettering is done by Eric Weathers. Variant Cover done by Caanan White and trading Card Image done by Sara Setna. The book has 39 pages including the front & back cover and the story is illustrated with futuristic art in vibrant colors.
On the augmented streets of the central colony, A.2.1, culture revolves around a high-speed motorcycle league where androids have dominated the top ranks of competition for generations. The skill pool is so intense that human pilots can’t even qualify.
The Metric family has invested in the creation of robots and A.I. that are considered tools used for society’s sustainability and growth. Their company Metric Inc has its brand Star Circuit. Their motto is that they believe in the human family, but they don’t seem as popular as they used to be.
We see their digital ad at the beginning of the story, and we get to see an example of what happened when the governments oversee your life and have all your personal data and monitor all your movements. Yet it doesn’t help you progress in life instead it keeps its citizens inebriated and occupied with entertainment.
Human seems to have circuits in their bodies that informs them of their surroundings in the detail including the registered details of the people nearby like their name, age, latest activities, heartbeats, and moods.
The story centers around a skilled motorcycle racer Atlys Metric who is the son of the owner of Metric Inc. He gets into trouble after winning a race and receiving the price. He gets pursuit by robots along with his brother Meno and his ex-girlfriend Hipp. Bit it seems that he was not the target they were going after. He and his brother belong to the wealthy class, but his ex-girlfriend is a lowborn.
He manages to separate from them so they could escape and he gets arrested. His father bails him out. We learn that his mother died, and his father build a robot with his mother’s memories. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with his father or Mrs. Frankenstein. Afterward while watching another race, he meets Bessa, the distraction he was looking for. During that interaction, he gets like a short circuit. The story ends there.
The Obsession with Robots and A.I
I see the story as a warning about an unwanted future where a wealthy group gets power over global citizens by binding computers with human DNA. You already have groups obsessed with inserting a chip into the human body that not only can be used to give you access but it tracks you’re every move. Unlike your phone, you can’t turn it off. It is already at work in Switzerland.
Further, there is also “Mrs. Frankenstein”. Metric Inc believes in the human family. Then why would Mr. Metric build an android to replace his dead wife? It shows that he is mentally/emotionally not over the death of his wife. For the kids or at least one of them, Mrs. Frankenstein may look like their mother, but she isn’t.
The Government in charge of your life
In the world of Star Circuit, the government takes care of everything. How problematic is this when we know how deep corruption is rooted in governments globally and how inefficient they work on a daily basis? Not every country has a constitution that protects its citizens and even those that have one struggle to keep it existing.
So, you shouldn’t expect the government to do anything. What you should expect is the quality of life of people to decrease. The money will not go to them it will reach the pocket of public officials. People make themselves feel better by saying that life is in a democratic country, but they are on the road to being similar to the countries they criticize.
When his father bailed Atlys out of jail, that’s when we get more details about Atlys’ life story. Before that, he was an unbearable arrogant and egotistical character maybe because of the way he grew up probably getting everything he wanted. Once you get a glimpse into his past you start to understand why he is so flawed. He does not have the privileges he had before, but his name still has value and he still takes advantage of that.
Hope for the Future
The protagonist is an arrogant guy who I thought was a lot like a trust fund kid. I hate him in the beginning. After everything that we went through I didn’t want a story that tells me how bad humanity is especially after reading “Guardians of Erloth: The Last Leopard King”. We need uplifting stories where humanity is doing its best to be heroic and where the villains get punished.
Technology should not be taking over our lives and our bodies so easily, but it should be used with integrity. When using technology to improve the way of living there should be a rule to do the work with respect for humanity. It should not make us sicker (cancer from electronic waves) or destroy our privacy (human body embedded chips).
Why is it that even though we are technologically advanced we can’t make long-lasting products anymore? Home & kitchen appliances and office supplies are all getting modernized with technology, but they don’t have a long product like the old products use to have. I know many who prefer to look for those old products.
Despite all the challenges we’ve faced you still have people that are willing to step up to do the right thing even though doing the right thing is not what is popular in the mainstream. Those are the people that inspire us to keep fighting for a better life.
EXPERIENCE WITH THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
By the time I decided to back this crowdfunding project, I choose the digital edition of the book. I have received the digital edition in PDF format with no issues. It is worth mentioning that updates were provided on the status of the project which was greatly appreciated.
As of date, the campaign is closed but the physical copy of the book (variant cover) can be found at the creator’s online store: https://veraviastudios.com/shop
Digital editions are not my preference. I find it difficult to see the artwork on the phone or the laptop especially when you have landscape pages or when you want to zoom in and then zoom out. You need to make sure your display settings are ok as well. It was quite tiring for me. Having a physical copy is much easier but in general, it has been difficult, with the rising shipping cost, to back projects with physical perks. It’s just not possible for every campaign. Especially when the shipping cost is almost equal to the value of the physical perks.
“Star Circuit: Chapter 1” is an interesting cyberpunk story. The futuristic art is very detailed, especially the racing scenes. If you like science fiction and street racing you will enjoy this book.
I would like to see Atlys journey into a more mature-centered hero. I’m curious about the history of Metric Inc and how the government took over control. The crowdfunding campaign for Chapter 2 is coming soon, I hope. Looking forward to it.
This “EYES ON” publication is part of the “EYES ON” series about crowdfunding campaigns I funded. It is all about crowdfunding entertainment made by dedicated and talented creators with a vision of how to tell their stories.
Make sure to explore more alternative entertainment.