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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rack Pick: King City

Do you remember those picture books you loved as a kid, the ones with such intricate illustrations and so many fun little details that you'd spend hours just poring over every page, finding new treasures in every corner?  Maybe it's just me; regardless, this adventurous spirit is all grown up and jumping off the pages of Brandon Graham's King City,  a 12-issue miniseries on Image by way of manga publishing house Tokyopop.

Currently this reviewer's favorite title on the rack, King City follows a cast of young people as they experience love, loss, gang warfare, alien prostitution, weird drugs, the Korean Xombie War... (I could go on but so much of the fun is in discovering the world for yourself).  Perhaps the most prominent character, though, is the city itself: a teeming, graffiti-covered metropolis whose freeways, outdoor markets, all-night diners, and shady back alleys fall somewhere between Eastern and Western culture.  Graham uses spare lines, shades of gray, and a whole lot of punny labels to create this bizarre world that, despite all its sci-fi trappings, is hilariously and touchingly human.  Fans of Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan will find a lot to love here, as will anyone who appreciates an offbeat approach to graphic storytelling.

The first half of the series was published in graphic novel format by Tokyopop; Image reprinted this material in six issues and is currently releasing the final six monthly.  Number 8 is out this week- do yourself a favor and pick it up!


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