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‘The Golem of Venice Beach’ GN (review)

Written by Chanan Beizer
Art by Nick Pitarra, Vanessa Cardinali, Clem Robins
Additional Art by Michael Allred, Stephen R. Bissette,
Jae Lee, Paul Pope, Bill Sienkiewicz
Published by Cover Press

 

The Golem of Venice Beach is not terrible but it is a disappointment.

Based on the creators involved, I guess my expectations were too high.

Created and written by Chanen Beizer, apparently his first work in the field, there’s some good characterization, and some interesting usage of Hebrew legend and history, but it’s fragmented and oddly paced at times.

The fact that it’s yet another book that reaches no actual conclusion makes it feel like it was all a fairly pointless read.

“Continued in Volume 2.”

Actually, if the bit about the origins of the word “shamus,” is true, then that’s something I’m likely to remember. Yes, that was my big takeaway here.

Othewise, it reminded me of one of those all-star motion pictures from back in the day that are nearly unwatchable. The back cover tells us that on top of everything else, the book is “a celebration of Southern California,” but I didn’t really feel that at all.

It’s the ancient Golem legend—the artificial man of clay and dust brought to life by Jewish magic—only here it’s tied into a story of a hapless young man and an unusual, heavily tattooed young woman. There are a number of NSFW sex scenes, but not really enough Golem outside of the several flashback sequences.

Vanessa Cardinelli is the main artist and colorist involved and she isn’t bad, but the highly touted illustrators associated with this project, including Bill Sienkiewicz, Stephen Bissette, Jae Lee, and Mike Allred, get as few as two pages each.

Bissette’s two black and white pages are best in my opinion, but hardly worth the cost of the expensive graphic novel overall.

Beizer clearly has talent and passion. I just don’t feel this initial effort really worked. At least not for me.

 

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