Friday, 27 November 2009

Pretty King City

King City 2, the second issue in Brandon Graham's batshit-crazy-awesome western Manga, is out this week. For a warm-up, Graham's posted some new artwork on his blog which should make your eyes feel bubbly and pleasant. I've put a couple of bits on here and you can find more on the aforementioned blog. Graham does these sprawling great long posts that are a little bit scary, but well worth a look. Also, here's the review I did of issue #1 for The Leeds Guide:

While the realm of comics isn’t as vast and cavernous as that of prose, it’s still sadly rare to come across something that feels genuinely fresh. While King City (£2.25) is technically a couple of years old now, it does a fine job of generating that tingly feeling in your tummy that accompanies the discovery of something new and fascinating. After spending a while in publishing limbo, King City has had a change of format from graphic novel to comics singles and is appearing under the Image publishing banner.

Coming from the (I can only imagine fevered) brain and pen of Brandon Graham, King City’s a western Manga. Specifically, a sci-fi spy comic about a chap named Joe who has a cat that can become any weapon or tool, a mate who always wears a wrestling mask and an ex-girlfriend with a new boyfriend who’s literally turning into the drug he’s addicted to. The series drags us into a sprawling future metropolis in which sasquatches run spy hotels and shadowy men in suits can knock you off trains by sharp-shooting you with your own bogeys.

While the backdrop and tone is wild, imaginative and bizarre, however, the series’ first issue introduces a lead with depth that belies the comic’s apparent whimsy. Rounding it off there’s just enough intrigue lurking in the plot to pique your interest, although it remains the feel and style of the issue that will prompt you to pick up issue 2.

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