Wednesday, 17 April 2013

So I Read Scalped

A 250 word (or less) review of Scalped the complete series
by Jason Aaron, RM Guerra, Davide Furno, Jean Paul Leon, Francesco Francavilla, Danijel Zezelj, Jason LaTour, Vertigo Comics

Scalped is the most hand-shaking, chill inducing, dry-mouthed comic I've ever read. At one point it actually gave me the sweats. What I'm trying to say is that it's a suspenseful, horrifying, and exciting read. Scalped is a story about crime on an American Indian reservation. It's an intricate comic of revenge and betrayal built out of a tower of dominoes on a foundation of broken promises. Did I mention this comic actually made me sweat? Scalped is also a surprisingly empathetic comic. While it certainly isn't politically correct, (it's an American Indian crime drama called Scalped) it showcases just how badly we as North Americans have fucked over the aboriginals of this place as well as the strength, dignity, and value of the cultures and traditions we have tried so hard to eradicate. Scalped demands we pay attention to this horrible reality (1). Incidentally, the use of American Indians in a crime comic is genius: these are desperate people fucked over by their government, white society, and their own leaders trying to make it any way they can. The hopelessness is palpable. The art by RM Guerra (and the rest) in Scalped is perfect: it's masterfully drawn, compelling ugliness rendered in a hundred shades of brown. It's art as desperate as the characters, as brutal as the action, and as dry and dirty as the badlands. Scalped is one of the completest comics I have ever read and it fucking blew me away. Everyone should read it.

Word count: 248

1: Last winter (2012) a first nations group in northern Ontario declared a state of emergency because it's inadequate housing was insufficient to provide shelter for winter conditions. They were ignored by their provincial and federal governments until negative publicity and international outcry forced them to act. As a Canadian I am horrified and ashamed by this. I am disgusted that I seem to be in the minority in this.

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