If Jason McNamara reads this, I hope he forgives me for being a bit rude earlier. I went to Jim Hanley’s Universe (JHU), got my sig, a photo op, and quickly left. Usually I try to chat it up for a few minutes; but it was one of those days. I didn’t want to miss my early train; and I still had to get back to the office, pack my stuff, and make it to Grand Central Station on time for my two hour ride back home to the ‘burbs. Thanks to McNamara for being gracious.
If it’s any consolation, The Rattler (a graphic novel that originated through a Kickstarter campaign, and is now available in print through Image Comics for a mere $14.99) was the first thing I read (even before Batman #50) out of my stack, on the train ride home. After I was done, 45 minutes of my ride was over, and I was wide awake–disturbed, but awake. No way was I going to nap after reading that.
McNamara and Greg Hinkle have produced a black and white pictorial horror fest, with splashes of nightmarish blood reds to bring the violence to the fore. It’s a frightening, and agitating, vicarious literary bloody thrill of a story. The narrative centers on Stephen Thorn, a man obsessed with finding his lost love. So much so, he destructively channels all his energy and newfound wealth to find his kidnapped fiancée. It probably doesn’t help, that as he searches in vain, he becomes a bitter cynical writer who advocates for crime victims.
The violence in this book could only have been dreamed up by someone with way too much leisure time on their hands–a violence inspired by true events. I mean, I’d kill for love too; but damn, I’m not gonna kill ’em two or three times over. Dead is dead. I just hope that these two find success in their work, and can continue to vent their anger through their art. Buy this book, if only to support them through their writing and drawing, and to keep them in check … or just buy it because it’s a good dark murderous read.