Thursday, July 30, 2009

From the Reading Pile: Violent Messiahs - Book of Job

Violent Messiahs: The Book of Job

Written by Joshua Dysart
Illustrated by Tone Rodriguez

A riff on Frankenstein that is set in a dystopian future. More than that though, it is a biblical epic both in scope and its allegorical allusions. Tackling the subjects of hyper violence, love, and the nature of truth, it quickly becomes more a mash up of King Kong and The Matrix. Things are not necessarily what they seem and even the motives of family may have sinister ramifications.

The tome doesn’t always work. It is sufficiently muddled and even worse narratively jumbled in places. Often, Dysart is over reaching his ability at the time. This may sound damning, but it’s not. What we have here is the journeyman work of a scribe. He is developing his voice. There is much that points to the tale of a certain bandaged soldier.

Rodriguez is one of those indy guys. He worked on the Snake Plissken book and other work that required less realistic rendering (The Simpsons, Urban Monsters). Here, he tries to match the cinematic chaos of the script. Bravely experimenting with layouts. They pop, squeeze and eventually cover each other up. Like the story itself, the art is not perfect. In fact, the first half of the book is painfully amateurish; but as the story progresses, both the script and the pencils become more coherent, more refined, and ultimately find the edge they are looking for.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. We don't agree on the assesment of Rodriguez's art, which I find it progressing, but still pretty mature compared to the majority of artists that populate the industry right now.