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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Liz's Pick of the Week

Paul Pope's 100%

Gritty urban sci-fi and see-through dancing girls may not immediately bring romance to mind for most folks, but then Paul Pope has never exactly been what you'd call a conventional storyteller.  His graphic novel 100%, available in trade and hardcover from Vertigo, follows three intertwined love stories through an entirely probable New York City, circa 2038 A.D.

Pope does a masterful job of weaving made-up history and technology into an environment that feels very real- sometimes cozy, sometimes brutal, always crowded, and always tumbling uncontrollably into tomorrow.  In this story a club owner, her estranged boxer husband, her artist cousin, a paranoid bartender, a busboy, and a troubled exotic dancer are all trying to navigate a harsh January in the city.  They fret about the violence that surrounds them, they fall in and out of love, and they  work hard for a chance at something better.

Beautiful inky black-and-white linework gives 100% a glamorous old-movie feel, despite the futuristic setting.   It's less a typical dystopic exercise and more of a meditation on the timelessness of human relationships, and comes highly recommended from your friends here at the Laughing Ogre!

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