King City collects Brandon Graham's magnificent Tokyo Pop comic serial in one mammoth, $11 (cheap!) trade paperback edition, and man, is that a deal.
Take the sprawling, weird, perverse cityscape of Transmetropolitan, mix in the goofy, punny humor of Tank Girl, add ultraviolent gang warfare, the impending resurrection of a death-god, and a secret society of cat-masters whose feline familiars can serve as super-weapons and tactical material, and you're getting in the neighbourhood of King City.
Graham's black-and-white line drawings have the detail of a two-page spread in MAD Magazine and a little bit of Sergio Argones in their style, if Argones was more interested in drawing the battle-scarred veterans of a Korean xombie war who consume each others' powdered bones to drive away the madness.
Despite the fact that this is a very, very funny story, it manages to be more than a comedy. Joe the cat-master's lost love, Pete the bagman's moral crisis, and Max the veteran's trauma are all real enough to tug at your heart-strings, even as you read the goofy puns off the fine-print labels on the fetishistically detailed illustrations showing King City and its weird and wonderful inhabitants.
JWZ wrote "It's the best comic-book-type thing I've read in quite some time. The trade is a huge phonebook-sized thing and it's awesome." He's right.
I’m about to switch off my email until September 5 and drive to Black Rock City for 10 days of incinerating the dude.
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