King City - Brandon Graham

This is the first, ahem, graphic novel (comic book) I've ever bought. Having seen it on Boing Boing, it looked sufficiently interesting to eventually tempt me to buy it.

The basic plot follows the protagonist, a "cat master", in his adventures around King City, as the resurrection of an ancient evil looms. Cat masters have cats with strange powers, which they can use as weapons, and there's a fair amount of weirdness there. Overall, though, the real star of the book is the city (hence the title, I guess). A huge, twisted nightmare, it's the backdrop for the secret spy hotels, drug-addicted zombie war vets, lethal cats, human trafficing in aliens for the sex trade, ancient evil, etc. etc. All in hyper-manic style.

The city makes me think of a more urban Mos Eisley, or the suburbs in the setting of Blade Runner, although more whimsical, and really... not either of those. There's lots of insane detail, much of it bad puns. And this is where it really falls down, in my opinion. It's just too juvenile. All sex and drugs and lame puns and if it were a human being it'd have greasy hair and really bad acne.

Posted 2013-05-19.