Just like fear itself, the horror genre can take on many forms. In this case we are going to be talking Comics! Specifically Prime Cuts, a new Indie release from creators and co-writers John Franklin and Tim Sulka. With all of the macabre madness illustrated by Rob Gutman (Vol. 1) and Stan Maksun (Vol. 2). John and Tim are no Strangers to the horror genre. You may remember John as I do, as Isaac from Children Of The Corn The boy preacher. He also did voice work in Child’s Play and even did an episode of Star Trek Voyager among many other cool genre credits. In 1999 he and Tim Sulka co-wrote Children Of The Corn 666 where he reprised the role of Isaac. Rob Gutman is a graphic artist out of Austin Texas, and Stan Maksun is a sci-fi/fantasy/horror author and illustrator, living in Oregon. Although this seems to be their first episodic comic, they certainly are not OUTLANDERS! These guys make a great team. Let’s get into it.
I’ve talked about this before in my reviews for films and perhaps because I grew up reading comics first I am big on box art. Well in this case the Cover. I truly believe you can judge a book by its cover,or at least whether you want to read said book. The cover of the first issue is the logo with a bloody pizza cutter fo a lowercase “I” and a pair of bloody golden scissors for little “t.” All brought together with the tagline, “a dark and twisted tale of mad haircuts, revenge and pizza.” Now this was great for me because even before I read the press release or my complimentary issues, btw thanks for that guys, it’s hard out here for a pimp! Holy run on sentence Batman, what was I saying? Oh yeah. Even before I dove in, just from the cover I could tell this was going to be like a modern day Sweeney Todd. From the bloody pizza and hair cutting tools all the way to the tag line, I felt like someone was going to be eating a meat pie. Did I mention I was also a theater nerd?
The story follows a young Todd Sweeney being released from a reform school of sorts. He then goes on a quest for vengeance. The world that Todd is in feels like a tongue in cheek dystopian present. And it is wonderful. The artwork is great and in the right direction. Plenty of densely populated splash pages with a rich tapestry of background characters. The direction has a horror film feel and the art is reminiscent of the nineties. Like Frank Miller and Mike Judge having sex in a blender. With Michael Mann filming. If that makes any sense. No? Prudes!
Ok I digress. I highly recommend checking this title out. John, Tim, Rob and Stan really hit it out of the park on this one. I really enjoyed the references and the humor in the book. It is a farce of humanity with a social conscience of sorts. Plus there’s plenty of blood and guts! And I’m only two issues in! The satirical twists on the musical are an excellent vehicle for the horror. My film fans will pick up on the “Delicatessen” vibes as well. Meat is a rare commodity and a character passingly informs us that “pepperoni is rare and over thirty dollars a pound these days.” I don’t think I should reveal any more. There is so much between the covers to entertain both film and comic fans. And the nerds rejoiced.