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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Matrix: Artistic Freedom The Matrix
"Artistic Freedom"
Matrix Comics Vol. 1
Story: Ryder Windham
Art: Killian Plunkett
Color: Jeromy Cox


An artist’s sculptures of the mechanical beasts of her dreams triggers fear in many who see them.


Read the story at


Didja Know?


This comic strip originally appeared on the official Matrix website in 2003. It was later printed in The Matrix Comics, Vol. 1 published by Burlyman Entertainment, a comic book publisher founded by the Wachowskis. 


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Kitt Pritchard

Raven Underwood

Spoon boy

cameraman (unnamed)

gallery woman (unnamed)


Didja Notice?


On page 1 of the story, an electronic sign for City Appliance is seen with only the L, I, and E of "appliance" lit up. These letters spell "LIE", a nod to the fact the story takes place inside the Matrix, a virtual reality created by the machines to keep humanity enslaved.


The art exhibition taking place in this story is at the Hednet Gallery. "Hednet" is revealed at the end of the story as an anagram of "The End".


The bald boy in this story is the same Potential, sometimes referred to as "Spoon boy", seen under the Oracle's tutelage in The Matrix.


It turns out that the artist Raven Underwood is a bluepill who had briefly awakened in her pod, so had seen what the world really was outside of the Matrix. Now, she is a bluepill again, but has vague memories percolating up from her subconscious of that other world which she turns into art. Her art then causes some other bluepills to have nightmares and require psychiatric help.


On page 2, panel 1 of the story, the intersection of Gibson and Giger streets is seen in Mega City. These are likely named for cyberpunk writer William Gibson and artist H.R. Giger, both of whom were inspirations for the concepts behind the Matrix franchise.


Two televisions seen in the store window in panel 2 of page 2 of the story are a VitaVision, shown as established 1939, and a Brandix. These appear to be fictitious television brands.


On page 3, panel 3 of the story, what appears to be a Dryver rental truck drives by behind Spoon Boy. It also appears to have the words "New Mexico" and a picture of a Super Guppy cargo airplane on the side. I'm not aware of any connection between the Super Guppy and the U.S. state of New Mexico. Dryver appears to be a fictitious company, but the name seems to be a play on Ryder rental trucks. The "New Mexico" on the side with a picture is likely an idea borrowed from the U-Haul rental company, which has a tradition of using state-themed pictures on the side of their trucks.


Underwood calls the machine sculptures she builds somnicultos (sleep guardians).


On page 11 of the story, a sign for Sentinel Electric Company is seen. This appears to be a fictitious business, named for the Sentinels (Squiddies) that are used for search and destroy missions against the resistance by the machines.


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