Friday, December 18, 2009

Red, white and a bagful of noir

I bought six issues of Scalped at my local comics shop this week and was surprised and pleased when I brought my purchases to the cash register to learn that the 50 percent off sale was still on. Then, when I found three back issues of 100 Bullets in the dollar bin, the proprietor let me have them free. Net result: nine dollars for nine books of the best noir being written and drawn today.

(Of course, in my day one could buy nine comics for $1.08. Even nine DC 80-page giants would have run $2.25, but who could have dreamed of such a bounty back then?)

Writer Jason Aaron situates Scalped on a fictional Indian reservation in South Dakota, and if you think the stories offer alcoholism and despair, you're right. But they also offer struggles for power, love, sex and money and, in a brief prologue to one story, a noirish flashback to Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee. Aaron and illustrator R. M. Guéra do a fine job creating a sense of place, in other words. Highly recommended.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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