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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Night Business (Crime) (Graphic Novel)

By Benjamin Marra   

Publisher: Fantagraphics (December 5, 2017)

Hardcover, 232 pages

This book is not all it seems on the surface. At first it looks like just an over-the-top uber-violent action tale, a homage to low budget 80s action film, similar to the ones Cannon used to put out. Yet as it goes on, and the killings and violence just go on and on and on, it takes on the form of parody, but that’s only if you look at it a little deeper than you should. This is one of the stronger points of the book. You can take it as parody, or just enjoy a violent slasher story.

A knife-wielding killer is on the loose, committing extreme acts of violence on strippers and hookers. Only one man has a will powerful enough to stop this psychopath: Johnny Timothy. This is a jaundiced view of society. The city of this story seems devoid of any people who aren't strippers, hookers, rapists, gang members, vigilantes, sex cultists, or thug enforcers. It is a world filled with tough guys and big tits and the streets are riddled with gun-wielding rapists just looking for a woman walking alone. One man takes to the streets to avenge a dead girl, which all wraps together into a surprising ending. Not the one you might think.

Unlike the author’s previous book, Terror Assaulter, the art does not play to the ridiculousness of the story. In this book, the art is the greatest detriment. Lots of stiff limbs, weird dialogue, and almost-good art. It kind of reminds me of the action sequences I used to draw in the margins of my middle-school notebook. This lack of sophistication really shone out when it came to differentiating between two of the main characters. They were drawn so similarly, that I sometimes got one mixed up with the other. But I still enjoyed the novel. 
  For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst.

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