From Com.x, John Lupo Avanti, Chester Westward.
Recently I was asked to take a look at a few title from Com.X and if the rest of the titles are at the level of Monster Myths I’m about to spend the entire month having my mind blown.
Here’s the solicit for Monster Myths so you know what we’re getting into here:
Alfredo, a recovering felon turned working stiff, resides in Lower Scabo where working-class people live under the tyranny of the evil Cannibals Motorcycle Gang. After being beaten and left for dead by the gang, Alfredo decides to recruit a group of graffiti writers to instigate a war between the riff-raff of Lower Scabo and their neighbors in the well-to-do community of Northview. In doing so, Alfredo transforms from a two-bit perp into an iconic rebel, determined to free Lower Scabo from the control of those seeking power. An over-the-top, dark comedy pitching biker gangs against cleancut, real estate developers and, in the middle, an unlikely hero stirring the pot in the hope of saving his neighborhood.
It was a pleasure to have this book put before me. The first few pages take some getting used to. This isn’t the “expected” type of comic book in any way. No clean panels, nothing pretty, in fact the whole book is dirty because that is the only way to tell such a grimy story. Alfredo is tragic, then brilliant, and finally just confusing. He has so much but so little as well.
The best thing that any reader can do with this book is to get someone else to read it as well. You will want someone to discuss the book with. My head is in pain from frustration because I want to pour out all of my feelings on this book into the review but that would spoil the story.
Every read reveals something deeper. The Mayor is the obvious one: flanked by a team yet not actually present. Article after article could be written on this one minor character. The taco truck becomes a star of the story. Then there is the loss of freedom. Sure, its great to take down a biker gang. But who ever thought that action would result in a loss of freedoms?
This is a true graphic novel. A rich tale with tragedy and repercussions throughout. It has its own language, its own style, its own feel. All of which are so unique the story cant be compared to any others. In trying I can only thing of trite lines like “Scarface without the cocaine!” or “What if the A-Team were too successful?” Any of this would be a disservice to John and Chester. Both men obviously looked at books detailing how these tales are “supposed” to be told and “meant” to look then threw those books away and carved their own spot within Monster Myths.