Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stray Toasters by Bill Sienkiewicz

I usually go to Midtown Comics every Wednesday and rummage through old graphics novels while everyone else pour over the new comics of the week. From my frequent visits I have come across and forgotten this title repeatedly. The images enticed me, but what was going on here? At first glance it seemed so cluttered and dense. I finally hunkered down and shelled out the 25 bucks, fearing I'd forget it again. Glad I got this gem.
Stray Toasters is a fever dream. A bizarre story about a washed up detective named Egon Rustemagick recently released from a mental institution in order to capture a serial killer that targets young boys and mutilates house-wives. The boys are completely drained of fluid and are left with strange ritualistic markings all over their body. Egon must plunge through the muck and dirt of the city, find answers, meet an old flame and all the while keep his sanity.
Set in grimy quasi futuristic New York City, this is a sadistic mystery that leads you down the rabbit hole. When you finish, you're not exactly sure you "get it" but you sure liked getting lost in it.

If I had to point this to anything else I'd say Blade Runner, in that, at its heart its a noir , femme fatales and all. However, layered on top is a beaten down futuristic back drop and some seriously deranged antagonists. As a bonus, intermittently throughout are post cards from "The Devil" himself. Messages sent to hell to his lover, describing a trip in our mortal world. Reading these made me feel like I was raving mad.
The images in this are absolutely jaw dropping. Colors pour off the page as your eyes fall into a dizzying maze of shadows and lines. The hues of blue with thin gold lines are what first caught my eye. Seinkiewicz does an excellent job of mixing mediums. Within the paint, chalk, and ink pieces, you'll see real circuitry, bubble wrap, and perhaps a plastic fly or two.
Get this. It's worth your time, trust me. One of the best graphic novels my eyes have ever gazed upon. Just don't come crying back to me when you want your sanity back.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Found this awesome graphic novel in The Strand a little while back. Breathtaker written by Mark Wheatley and drawn fantastically by Marc Hempel was originally published by DC comics in the early 90's.  
The plot revolves around government experiments and a pretty girl named Chase Darrow who is addicted to finding true love. She has guys falling all over her, unfortunately for the guys, loving her means death. Kissing her is kind like kissing Rogue from X-Men. She sucks the life right out of them and they age rapidly.  I think everybody can kinda relate to that...
I won't give anymore away but lets just say there's a reality show government super hero called aptly, The Man, a devoted, love crazy, group of ex lovers, and a hilarious scene with a moose. 
The story and the art just make this collection. The warm colors surround your eye and you just wanna fall in! Ahhh the colors duke, the colors! I can't recommend this more!