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Friday, April 6, 2012

King City Review

What does a cat that's a living weapon and master lock-picker have to do with a place called King City? They just live in it. Brandon Graham's sci-fi, romance, horror, action, comedy of ever changing genre and insanity stays level headed as it's described by the totally laid-back main man Joe. You see Joe's a cat master, a cat master can stick some drugs into a cat and that cat can pretty much pull off anything. He's cat Earthling, but who he refers mostly as "cat" will rip you to pieces, slice you in half or help you out depending on what the situation needs.

If you think that's strange welcome to King City that screams a thousand dreams of a 10-year-old you. Ninjas, mutants aliens, robots, and hybrids of all those things are common place. You'll meet new creatures, misplaced machinery and some really good looking food and drinks. For a reference rip, imagine stepping into the 1980's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, but having the inner thoughts of a lazy Harrison Ford Blade Runner type. Adding to that, it's like exploring th world of Dragonball for the first time.

The visuals from this book are on a how other level as you see the world unfold with way to much stuff going on around you. Another advantage is Brandon isn't afraid to break the mold of the simple panel to panel look of the old comic, he plays with it and makes you a playa. Visuals are cut with sounds that expand out of their "bubbles". Time can be taken to explain what's in someones pockets, no matter if it doesn't matter to the story. That means full pages devoted to a guide of what someone might be carrying like a survival guide. Impressively it's the art the grabs you with, be it the undead or a woman's but Brandon does a great job to grab you attention with his somewhat cartoony anime style.

Writing plays a major part, with being fun and having some dumb, but funny word play that results in surprisingly refreshing taste. It's not all kiddie though as sex, drugs, and death fill up pages alongside stellar art. There's a story working it's way through, but it's slow moving as Joe's actions when it comes to really doing something. I wouldn't say he's a hero, nor anti-hero, just some dude who wants some money and to hang with his friends, beyond that he isn't that complicated.

There's great features from a drug that slowly turns you into it, yeah you become the drug, xombie war, mustache graffiti, alien whore houses, Afros, and a really cool cat. Pick it up and expand your comic horizon beyond super heroes. Sometimes, there just a dude with a cat.