If most comic books are like Disney cartoons then is this the Citizen Kane? Not quite, but it is certainly a different kind of animal. Part crime novel, part thriller, part history lesson, part Russian phrase book with a tiny dash of sci-fi this is certainly going to be different from your usual read. It did kind of remind me of Y: The Last Man in that you are following one character as he unravels a rather large mystery.
Set in modern Russia with occasional trips abroad you get quite an in-depth look under the surface of a country struggling, and failing, to change with the times. How accurate a portrayal this is I don’t know but like all good literature it feels authentic. The background sucks you in and so you have no trouble accepting the little touches of fiction in this excellent whodunit.
The art is simple with limited palette and large blocks of colour helping you to breathe in the dank decay of this once proud nation. There is violence and humour in equal measure but neither of which feels forced or gratuitous. There is a lot of dialogue, and I mean a lot. It’s a real struggle to get through in one sitting and I can’t help thinking this could or should be a great novel. I think I came away with a good understanding of another culture, or lot of its swear-words at the very least. Thumbs Up here!
10/355. Tomorrow: Aztek – Grant Morrison and Mark Millar.