Friday, 27 March 2009

‘Popgun: Volume 3’ – Edited by Mark Andrew Smith & D.J. Kirkbride (Image Comics)


If you’re like me then you want to be buying loads of comics but have no idea where to start. The way I see it there’s two ways round this problem… You could go to your local comic book store and buy everything that catches your eye, it’s good fun but you’re likely to end up coming home with a whole of stuff that you’re going to hate. What you could do instead is buy yourself an anthology with a whole load of different stuff in it. You may not like everything in it but it’s going to take up less room on your shelf and you might just end up discovering a writer or artist that you’d never heard of before but you can’t do without.
I want to buy more comics but don’t have the first clue where to start, the third volume in Image Comics ‘Popgun’ has just given me some pointers…

It’s really hard to get a handle on what ‘Popgun 3’ is all about because all the stories are so different from each other that the book as a whole defies categorisation. What they do all have in common though is a real manic vibrancy all done up with some superb artwork. Reading ‘Popgun 3’ is like having a large bucket of Technicolor energy poured over your head when you least expect it. Once you’ve come up for air, everything looks very different…

With such a broad range of stories not all of them hit the mark for me but then I wasn’t really expecting them to given the variety on offer; as with ‘The Mammoth Book of Best Horror’ I’d say that it’s a safe bet that there is something in here for everyone. Sam Bosma’s artwork on ‘The Magnificent Zhao’ was lovely but I didn’t really get what the story itself was about, I had a similar issue with Juan Doe’s ‘Vertex’ (lovely to look at but didn’t really know what was going on…)

I personally found though that the good far outweighed the not so good. I laughed out loud (and sniggered like a schoolboy) as I walked Brian Winkeler’s ‘Bastard Road’ and also chuckled to myself as I learnt that you should never let an alien near the handbrake on your car (Isam S. Prado’s ‘Alien Abduction’). Derek McCulloch’s ‘Cuffs’ had me going right up until the explosive final panel and Guillaume Singelin’s ‘Carjacking’ has to be the single best way to open an anthology ever…

This isn’t doing the book justice as ‘Popgun 3’ clocks in at almost five hundred pages (in my review copy) and there is so much more to be discovered inside; there’s only so much space here for me to write about it all.
If ‘Popgun 3’ is any indication of the standard of the series then I’ll be on the lookout for volumes 1 and 2. Fans of the series should love it, newcomers (like me) are in for a real treat…

Nine out of Ten

6 comments:

D.J. said...

Thanks for the review, Graeme! We really appreciate it!

Derek McCulloch said...

Thanks for the shout-out...but I just wrote "Cuffs." It was so splendidly illustrated by Peter Krause. (And coloured by Ron Turner. And lettered by Thomas Mauer.)

Brian Winkeler said...

Glad you dug 'Bastard Road: Cockfighter Blues,' Graeme. I provided the words and my co-creator and collaborator, the brilliant Dave Curd, provided the illustrative magic. Thanks very much, and check out our links at www.bastardroad.com!

Graeme Flory said...

It's no excuse but, still be fairly new to talking about comics here, I've got a nasty habit of concentrating on the story at the expense of the art... I'll try not to let it happen again...

It goes without saying that 'Cockfighter Blues' would not have been the same without Dave Curd's great artwork. Same deal with Peter Krause, Ron Turner and Thomas Mauer in 'Cuffs' :o)

guijaune'blacky said...

Thanks for "car jacking".
i'm very happy.

Jonut said...

Thanks for the review!!