Monday, October 15, 2007

Well the intro was like a road to perdition, the rest was good

Hmm, crazy busy day today but I wanted to get something posted. The crazy cavelcade of comic reviews continues. And next time I promise to spell Casanova correctly!

I read Road to Perdition last week and really enjoyed it. I like gangster stories and the noir genre (most of the time). I’m also a sucker for characters who aren’t superheroes but named things like “Angel of Death” but aren’t like super-goth kewl musclemen with many spike-tipped articles of clothing.

Nope this is about Irish Catholic gangsters and it is a great bildungsromans where a boy is thrown into the adult world or his immigrant father. At the same time, the story is a simple tale of revenge with comments on religion, belief, honour and the American dream. It’s straightforward and well executed but not one of my favourite presentations I’ve come across recently.

I like the ideas behind the format, with the black and white manga format and artwork, but the artwork was hit and miss for me. Sometimes it was great while others it just didn’t seem “on” if that makes sense. It looked to be artificially made to look computerized. I guess the other way of saying that is I didn’t like the crosshatching at times. But the action was always clearly presented and kinetic when required and delicate when it was supposed to be. The art was capable of portraying the action, which is the number one job of comic art whether or not I share the same esthetic on details is pretty minor. Basically, just because I didn’t like the look of a few panels didn’t mean it took away from the action or story. Heck, it never made anything muddled and unclear so it does its job in that respect.

Although, the version I read had about as much author introduction as actual comics. I usually read the introduction but I didn’t manage all of this one because, well, I don’t really care about all the minutia of the author’s life and times. I enjoy anecdotes not autobiography as intros.

So well worth the read, I just can’t picture Tom Hanks in the lead role.

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