*Editor’s Note* This piece was originally published in our now defunct crime mag Blunt Force Beating and has now been given a new home.
Writer and Artist: Rafael Grampa
Price tag: 9.99 US
Approx :70 pages
I must admit I had only seen Rafael Grampa’s work on the covers to the last mini-series starring Werewolf By Night for Marvel Max, so I really didn’t know what to expect from this creator. Thank heavens my store had ordered an extra copy of this GN.
Of course as soon as I saw it sitting on the back shelf behind the cash I just had to have a peek at what was inside the pages………!!!?! WTF!!!!!!!! Honestly that was my exact reaction to the insides of what I was holding in my sweaty little palms at that moment in time. This guy’s work looked like a hybrid mix of Geoff Darrow, Paul Pope, Frank Quietly and Basil Wolverton. Very surreal looking artwork and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea BUT if you dig any of the creators I mentioned before you’ll definitely dig this bit of insanity. The colours are very European and suit this GN perfectly.
The book begins with a quick intro of the two main characters as they are driving a big rig. They are hauling an unknown cargo to its destination. One of the two characters is a beaten up wannabe Elvis double (definitely not an impersonator though) whose name is Sangrecco. He’s rambling on comparing himself to the real Elvis via their respective tastes for guns, martial arts and superheroes. At no point early on does it even become apparent which direction the story will take but I was starting to become incredibly curious.
As they pull up to a gas station the other main character Rufo gets out to stretch his legs, pump some gas and get something to drink at the rest stop. Meanwhile our Elvis wannabe crashes out for a little snooze while Rufo is gone. As Rufo enters into the bar we are introduced to some of the local denizens of the place. One of which is talking about a fight he had. We have all seen this kind of blowhard before as well as the other hangers on. It then becomes very clear that this blowhard see’s Rufo (who just happens to be a massive looking bone crusher) as a threat and decides to have some fun with him. The fact that Rufo is also drinking a glass of milk doesn’t help matters. Pretty soon things get ugly and Rufo is challenged to a fist fight out back for some cash.
I gotta say at this point Grampa throws us a major curve ball with what happens next.
The blowhard (Forceps) shows us why he’s won so many fights. Everything soon goes to hell as one of the girls cheering on Forceps gets killed. Things go from bad to worse as one by one the patrons of the truck stop get sliced and diced as the Devil looks on from Hell gleefully awaiting more souls.
People get beheaded, stabbed in the eyes and we’re treated to some very insane POV action. This is in Peter Jackson territory. It gets bloody, brutal and I still couldn’t stop laughing over the way how the first girl got killed.
This book was a lot better than I would have thought and it was just a fun, fun ride. Unfortunately the book ends way too soon as far as I’m concerned.
I really can’t wait to see what Grampa does next.
If you’re in the mood for a very violent, fun, off the beaten path kinds story then definitely check this book out.
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