One Mad Dog

[HOTWIRE: Requiem for the Dead Volume 1] – (Steve Pugh, Warren Ellis)
August 16, 2010, 7:26 am
Filed under: 10 Stars, Steve Pugh, Warren Ellis

Requiem for the dead is set in what appears to be a London of the future where the electromagnetic fog from the mass of wireless devices has started to trap souls on earth.  The ghosts, or “Blue Lights” as they are called, are generally non aggressive and kept in their place by electromagnetic towers. Some of the “Blue Lights” manage to become a serious nuisance and this is where our hero, detective exorcist,  “Alice Hotwire” is called in.  Normally sending the souls over to the other side is a straightforward job but some extremely violent “Blue Lights” are causing havoc and are not so easy to get rid of. This escalation of  ghost activity and a huge civil riot means that Alice really has her work cut out for her on this case.

The original story concept came from Warrren Ellis but this book is artist Steve Pugh’s baby and he both wrote and illustrated it. “Requiem for the dead”  grabs you from the first page and it keeps hold right up until the satisfying climax. The story is well paced and  Alice Hotwire’s dialog is witty, well crafted and at times laugh out loud funny.

Hotwire has an almost photo realistic, painted art style with a vibrant palette  and crisp clarity. Often “painted” comic book art is muddy and overly stylized making it difficult to follow the action but this book isn’t like that at all. The human faces are extremely realistic and the backgrounds are a  wonderfully imagined sci-fi  backdrop.  I have heard Radical say before that the artwork within their books matches the cover art but this is the first book of theirs where I truly think they have achieved this. The extras in the book are also really good including interviews, backgrounds, sketches, unpublished strips and a cover art gallery.

This is an incredible first effort from Steve Pugh where he has managed to produce a complex but easy to read story with amazing art and a very cute hero that isnt ridiculously proportioned. It is printed on good paper stock too and is really good value for the page count.  [ISBN-13: 978-0980233537]. 10/10

[Just A Pilgrim – Hardcover] – (Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra)
April 22, 2010, 3:24 pm
Filed under: 10 Stars, Carlos Ezquerra, Garth Ennis

This is an absolutely stunning graphic novel with some of the best artwork Carlos Ezquerra has ever done. I have always been a big fan of Carlos but much of his work is in black and white. The coloring in this book absolutely brings his work to life.  The story covers the tale of a maniacal Pilgrim on a crusade against evil in a post apocalyptic world. There are two novels within this hardcover and they are both excellent. The extras are stunning too. This book slams into my all time top ten list. [ISBN-13: 978-1606900031]. 10/10.

[303] – (Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows)
April 7, 2010, 3:25 am
Filed under: 10 Stars, Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows
“Deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, a dozen Russian Special Forces soldiers race their British opponents for a secret neither of them can imagine. The Russian leader, a war weary Colonel who knows no other life but conflict, carries old ghosts that refuse to let him be, but the battle that awaits him deep in this ancient land will change his life forever, and send him on a violent journey no sane man would contemplate. The ultimate soldier meets his destiny, in 303!”
This is one of Garth Ennis’s best novels. I found this a very enjoyable read and in my opinion the artwork is simply fantastic. The story is well written and thought provoking and the art style fits it perfectly. The book is a little short but it makes up for it with a really good ending. Not as light hearted as much of Ennis’s work but none the worse for this. Definitely one of my top 10 Graphic Novels. (ISBN-13: 978-1592910373). 10/10