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Graphic Breakdown: ‘If You Steal’, ‘Seduction of The Innocent’, ‘Devolution’ & ‘The Realist’

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

Let’s look at some comic books outside of the mainstream shall we?

If-You-Steal-fcIf You Steal  

Written and Illustrated by Jason
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Jason is a Norwegian artist who produces a book every year or so. They are always worth it and you pore through them only too quickly. This book came along recently and my god it’s brilliant.

Jason give us a bunch of short stories in this book. They are all different in tone but all feature the same kinds of characters, a mixture of animals and characters from a Jim Jarmusch film. On the surface they seem like simple tales. Straightforward. But Jason did something amazing: He toyed and experimented with the comic book form. He breaks rules. And it’s genius.

I’ve never read anything that actively pushed my brain to think in a new way. But that’s exactly what happens here. Jason has taken the form and pushes it like people haven’t tried in years.

This is stunning work. Beyond anything out there. Jason has done something impressive here. It is a rather expensive book. But the presentation and the work inside make it worth every cent. A masterpiece.


Seduction-of-the-Innocent-1Seduction of the Innocent TPB  

Written by Ande Parks and Illustrated by Esteve Polls
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

So the title grabbed me on this one.

It’s the same one Fredric Wertham had on his classic book stating that comic books are bad. Well, Fredric Wertham can go F%&k himself because hey, they’re everywhere now.

And so we have this book. But what’s it about?

FBI Agent Thomas Jennings has just arrived in San Francisco, fresh-faced and ready to tackle crime in the big city… but he’s not nearly prepared for what he’s about to encounter.

The city’s crime lords are being systematically murdered, and those responsible are the stuff of his nightmares.

In a desperate race to end the spree killings and rescue two targeted and helpless children, Jennings will be forced to question every belief he holds dear… and struggle to hold onto his humanity.

I was actually grabbed by the story. Parks writes a great tale that kept me on my toes. It’s fun and seedy and I enjoyed the almost sleaziness of it. There were a few boring moments but for the most part, I was engaged. I love Polls on the art. I loved his Lone Ranger/Zorro art. I love him here.

Pick this up if you are looking for something unique in the comic book field. It’s a good time for sure. And it’s better than a lot of the things you are spending your money on.


DevolutionTP-CovDevolution TPB 

Written by Rick Remender and Illustrated by Jonathan Wayshak
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

I always found Remender to be a decent writer that always fell a bit short for me. I always wish his stories were stronger. They are fun and smart but they always end in strange ways.

Except for Fear Agent. I loved that.

So Devolution!

The story goes like this: Every living creature on Earth has been devolved – the evolutionary clock turned back, reverting all life to odd mutations and prehistoric incarnations. The cities of man are little more than bloody territories ruthlessly dominated by tribal Neanderthals ruling from the backs of mammoths, packs of saber-toothed tigers, and giant man-eating insects.

Raja, one of the few remaining “Still Sapien” humans, heads to San Francisco to find the antidote for the world-changing DVO-8 viral agent. But to cross the wasteland, she’ll have to convince the last pocket of humanity to join her quest… and survive the Nazi hillbillies that rule them through fear!

Remender writes a fun tale that again left me a bit detached and cold. The art is pretty good though. All in all not a bad book, but there are other stronger books to buy. Still if you are looking for something because you read everything else, give this a shot. The art isn’t half bad, the story is decent enough. But you may find yourself like me at the end, wondering how this could be better.


realistThe Realist 

Written and Illustrated by Asaf Hanuka
Published by Archaia Books

Asaf Hanuka is one of the best talents I have encountered yet most people may not have heard of him. He’s popular in Israel but not many have heard of him in America. This is a collection of some of his strips but read right form their own story. And that story is sublime.

Hanuka gives us Slice of life comics of him and his family. It paints a picture of a man who is broke and trying his best to keep the bond with his family which is falling apart. This is a wonderful book, inventive yet sad. It needs to be read to be believed.
Hanuka examines all of us with this book. It’s great and new and fresh. It’s like the great work of Chester Brown or Seth. It’s just as open just as revealing. In short, pick this up to see what the medium is capable of.


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