Friday, January 19, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: Hellcity Vol. 1

Writer: Macon Blair
Artist: Joe Flood
Company: Gigantic Graphic Novels
Price: $13.95 ($11.16 at Amazon)

Previous Gigantic Graphic Novels offerings, such as Rotting in Dirtville or Dead West, have been books I've really enjoyed, so I had high expectations for Hellcity. That might help explain a little bit of disappointment, that I had set the bar too high. It's not that Hellcity is bad - it's an interesting classic style noir mystery set in an urban version of Hell - but aside from the setting, the whole thing plays out like a hundred other variations on the same crime noir story, and it didn't feel as fresh as I would have liked. I was also a bit disappointed that in a whole $14 graphic novel, I didn't feel like I got a whole story. I realize this is part one of three, but I think it's a bad idea to end your graphic novel on a cliffhanger without resolving some story thread over the course of the story. Basically, this volume is all setup, and it's intriguing setup, especially the last third or so of the book, but without any payoff, it's hard to get too engaged by the story.

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