Bloody Pulp: 9 Months

July 20th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

ad_9mI dig Jorge Vega and Jeff McComsey’s 9 Months, but I think my favorite part might be the cover. It’s a simple picture, just Thomasina, knee-deep in pregnancy and holding a gun while looking surprised. Something about it manages to sum the series up pretty well. This isn’t one of those books where it’s about backflips and double dragon flip kicks. It’s about desperation, and hard choices, and responsibility.

9 Months is, more or less, about the funny turns life takes. Thomasina went from a promising track star to being stuck in a rut. She got the coolguy boyfriend who turns out to be more of a jerk than a coolguy, she alienated her family, and now she’s pregnant. Her past as a track star and present as something else are constantly put into direct conflict over the course of the first issue. Running is even used as a metaphor for why she distanced herself from her family. It was teenage rebellion, basically, but she was sure she was running toward something sustainable.

Later, covered in blood (her own and her late boyfriend’s), I think she starts to realize that she hadn’t. Instead, she’d forsaken what was good in her life in favor of what was flashy. When she’s forced to choose between her current life and the life of her unborn child, she picks the youth and fights back, killing her boyfriend.

The problem is that her boyfriend was far from a nobody. He was the younger brother of a local big shot, and that big shot has a list of demands for Thomasina. She’s going to abstain from alcohol and drugs, take her vitamins, and have the baby. After that, the bigshot gets to keep it.

The last page of the book asks “how far [Thomasina will] go to protect her child?” and answers “too far.” I’m interested, because Jorge and Jeff have built a small, but realistic, cast of characters and created a way to throw them into conflict with each other over the nine months of Thomasina’s pregnancy. They don’t shy away from violence, but they don’t dwell on it, either. It happens, it’s horrible, and then you have to pick up the pieces.

I’ve only read the first issue of 9 Months, but I get the feeling that it’s about picking up the pieces. You can check out a preview of the book here, and read the first eight pages of Bloody Pulp, Jeff & Jorge’s new work over at Zuda. If you like it, vote for it. Let’s see more from these guys.

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Bloody Pulp: American Terror

July 15th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Like most people, I’m pretty interested in side-effects. The US spends millions in Afghanistan fighting the Russians, and ends up giving a lot of people the skills needed to strike back. The CIA spends time and money aggressively pursuing American interests through less than honest means, and inadvertently help fund the destruction of the inner city and the black family. Millions of kids go to college for IT at the height of the dot-com boom, and then find themselves out of luck and with nowhere to go.

Jeff McComsey ‘s American Terror: Confession of a Human Smart Bomb is one of those books that deal with side-effects. Victor was trained to kill by the military, imprisoned for not following orders, and then bounced to civilian life. He was left aimless, basically drifting through life, and in the process of being headhunted by various “corporate security” firms. They want him to use his skills to wage war on their dime.

Instead, he ends up enlisting with a man who has no interest in self-serving violence or money-grubbing firms. Homer wants to start a school to work against these soldiers for hire. He’s interested in counterprogramming. Homer, Victor, and the varied crew that signs up for the gig all work for the greater good, but still manage to kick off the War of the Third World. Millions end up dying, but at the end of it all the world is a better place. Was it worth it?

Victor is stuck in a story that’s interested me for a while. We hear plenty about dictators and people who grasped power just so they can line their own pockets and tell other people what to do. If you vote, you’ve probably voted for one at least once. What about those who take by force, but for a good reason? “I’m going to make this a better world, whether you like it or not.”

I think that’s a fascinating line of thought, particularly in light of today. We live in a world where war is not about death or peace. It is about business. We have fighter jets cost 40-some thousand dollars to run for an hour, are produced with a glaring weakness to rain (of all things), and has an average failure rate of once every 1.7 hours. We push for the lowest bidder to maximize profits. You can be a professional soldier and make a ton of money. When’s someone going to say, “Hold, enough” and turn that around?

American Terror is a little rough around the edges, but a good read. I’m not entirely sold on the pacing, for example, but the art is top notch. McComsey sells the violence and talking heads bits with equal amounts of skill. The story of Victor, the people he comes across, and the people he kills while finding a direction for his life make for a pretty interesting tale, I think. Volume 1 and Volume 2 are available on Amazon for cheap.

Jeff McComsey, of course, is the artist of Bloody Pulp. You should go to the Zuda page for it, give it a read, and give it a vote and favorite it if you dig it. Judging by American Terror and the 8 pages of Bloody Pulp that are currently online, I like what I see.

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Beaten to a…

July 14th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Bloody Pulp is the latest offering from Jeff McComsey and Jorge Vega. McComsey is one of the brains behind American Terrorist, which is available now on G1 and soon on iPhone. Its subtitle says it all: “Confession of a Human Smart Bomb.” Jorge Vega is the guy behind Gunplay, a book on vengeance in the Old West that I thoroughly enjoyed last year. Together, they have created Bloody Pulp.

Bloody Pulp has a few of my favorite things. It’s got crime and fisticuffs, for one. The lead is John “Pulp” Polopowski, who is brilliantly described in the synopsis on the Zuda site as “a nightmare for hire.” That’s an inspired description, and from what I’ve seen of Bloody Pulp, it’s true. When you need someone to be thoroughly beaten and disposed of, Pulp is your man.

The twist, of course, is that he isn’t entirely on the level. He’s been secreting people away to a safe house, rather than killing them. It’s kind of like witness protection through a funhouse mirror, only someone might beat you to death for disobeying the rules.

The hook is the arrival of Eustace, “a Negro bandleader”. The synopsis promises that sparks are going to fly due to his presence, and I’ve got the good word from Jorge that says he’s going to dig into the race and class issues of the ’30s. I’m definitely interested.

We’ve got eight pages to look at on ZudaComics.com. Check it out and, if you like it, vote for it on the site. As things currently stand, Jeff and Jorge are ranked #1. If they maintain that position, they get a slot on the Zuda site. The eight pages were just enough to get me interested, and Jorge and Jeff’s prior work were pretty solid. I’m going to be taking a look at a couple of their books, specifically American Terrorist and 9 Months, very soon.

In the meantime, though, you need to vote for Bloody Pulp and tell your friends.


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