Archive for Brandon Graham

Holiday Gift Bag: King City

Just a week before Christmas, and it’s looking like I may be able to devote this entire week to more gift recommendations. Today, we look at Brandon Graham’s amazing King City.


Ya know, I kinda don’t want to tell you anything about this one. When I read it for the first time, I knew almost nothing about it, other than the fact that a lot of people had lavishly praised its art and vision and general madcappery. In a lot of ways, I think that’s the best way to go into this book — knowing nothing about it and being delighted and shocked and mind-blown every time you turn a page.

But let’s hit a few quick plot and character bits, just for the sake of being thorough. Our story is set some time in the future — not quite dystopia, not quite space-opera futuristic. Our main character is Joe, a Catmaster — he’s a martial artist who’s able to use his cat, Earthling, as any tool or weapon he needs, with an injection of the right drug. His best friend is Pete, a guy who wears a doofy-looking hood all the time, who’s fallen in love with an alien he helped sell into slavery. His ex-girlfriend is Anna, who lives with Max, a veteran of the Zombie Wars who is addicted to a drug he uses to control his nightmares — the same drug his body is slowly turning into the more he uses it. They fight giant monsters and spies and cyberpunks and mad scientists and everything in between.

I could say more than that, but I ain’t gonna. I want you to go into this not knowing what to expect.

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very, very thumbs up. This is a glorious comic, sketchy and imaginative and sexy and surreal and hilarious and filled with wild and crazy action sequences. The dialogue, the characterization, the art and design are all absolutely pinpoint perfect.

I really don’t know what else I can say about it. It’s just a fantastic comic.

If you have someone on your list who loves wild science fiction and action, or who just loves beautifully-made comics, you’ll want to get this for them. If you haven’t read this yet, you may want to get it for yourself. It’s a nice, fat comic — over 400 pages! — and you can get it, retail, for just $20, probably less at the big online retailers.

King City by Brandon Graham. Go pick it up.

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