review: Kick Ass – a comic book you should go buy right now

Hey there fellow crits,

I just read through the first few issues of “Kick Ass” and was totally blown away. I cannot recommend this comic book highly enough. go buy it right now.

– Written by Mark Millar, who is supposedly well known (meh?). I don’t know the guy’s work, but the dialogue, situations, humor, and pacing all remind me heavily of the old Preacher comics (which is high praise). It’s like something garth ennis would write if he could drop the scotchirish obsession, and focus in on modern teen drama. The first issue perfectly sets up the dream (for a modern person, based in our reality, to decide to put on a costume and try to fight crime. Just because it sounds bad ass). In the first couple pages it shows you why you wouldn’t want to do this with two loveably gross examples, then it settles back into establishing the character. It’s possible i’m too easy, and these examples are a little too pop culture (the “that’s not me” trick seems a lot like something out of Powers. The “this is me. suffering… but i’m getting ahead of myself” trick feels like KissKissBangBang, or FightClub.). mayyyybe. But even if the snooty connoisueueueurr wants to call the writer out on these story telling tricks, they efficiently serve to ground the comic in a certain style. that i happen to adore.
I’m digging the writing mostly because: having read 4 issues, it occurs to me that i’ve really just spent a lot of time watching a kid have some teen problems. But i didn’t notice this while reading. nor was i bored. because the ultraviolence that punctuated each issue was so plausible. And i didn’t have to read a lot of text to feel like i’d spent a lot of time with the characters. And because it felt like a great indie movie, except with characters who really stood out from the cliches i’m used to.

– Drawn by the legendary John Romita Jr. Need i say more? he’s a personal hero (drew a lot of the x-men comics that hooked me hard as a kid). And it’s heart warming to see just how polished and amazing his style has become. I read some spider man comics a couple years back, thinking initially “aw shucks this guy is still working?” but was ultimately left thinking “Holy shit, this guy has become better than any other artist i’ve seen in years. wow.” and that spiderman run was mostly just people sitting around talking and having dramazzzz.

– Kick Ass is also mostly about small time reality probs in high school. drama (a four letter word for me. it sounds like the name of a drug when i read it).

But it’s paced punchy, and littered with pop culture (youtube, new york’s gay prostitutes, blah blah). And then each issue squirts in an excessive amount of blood and gore, for loveable shock value. I love how RomitaJr draws blood thick, like play-doh. I love how an eight year old girl can show up and be disturbingly dangerous (delivering some grotesque violence while calling her victims cunts).

it’s just very alive.

In many ways, it’s everything i want to be doing with storytelling. so i’m very excited.
(and terrified about all the ways i’ll need to change the direction of my own comic, and step up my game, so I won’t be seen as a bad rip off).

hmm. anywho. Apparantly it’s very indie, despite some of the big names involved. And supposedly a movie deal has been signed? fuck. (the whole thing overwhelms me with envy. It’s a triumph. right down to the excellent name).

So i hope you’ll support it, either for the “support indie” angle, or for the “get in on this hip shit before everyone else” angle.

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