Collection: Moonshine #1-6 © 2016-2017
Publisher: Image Comics © 2017
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art & Colors: Eduardo Risso
Letterer & Design: Jared K. Fletcher
Color Assistant: Cristian Rossi
Editor: Will Dennis
When I first heard the title alone I was intrigued as I automatically thought of prohibition bootleggers. I see the cover and get excited, next I see it’s written by a favorite – Brian Azzarello, famous for his 100 Bullets series and his pulp, street level and noir style, this was his territory, and mine being a history buff and all. Azzarello concocts a great noir like drama here that is oozing with suspense and believe it or not, horror. The story follows Lou, a man given a job from his boss who must travel from New York City to the rural country of West Virginia to do business a bootlegger down there. But the deal is far from an easy grab, Lou wrestles with his own demons and finds there’s something else to Spineridge, West Virginia than meets the eye, something… supernatural. Azzarello gives us plenty of historic authenticity with the language and vulgarities. I especially like how Lou is not the a-typical bad guy gangster. He’s hardly romantic or a tough guy, but more of a regular guy like many of just struggling to make something of himself. Just like I never thought of Azzarello writing Wonder Woman, I never imagined him writing suspenseful horror and he does it well.
Adding to this is one of Azzarello’s partners in crime from the past, Eduardo Risso. Risso himself has a usually gritty, rough-around-the edges vibe to his pencils. Nothing and barely anyone is pretty. I never saw his style as particularly noir, but here it is. He captures that’s late 20’s – early 30’s decorum and gangster mugs very well. I almost feel like I am reading a comic from that actual time period, making it even harder to put down. Risso helps in the suspense of knowing what to show and what not to, and he’s stellar at violence and creating this surreal, nightmarish scenarios. I especially enjoy the silhouettes and darkened, shadowy figures in all blacks but leaving outlines for the details in their faces. Fletcher and Rossi help too, with their beautiful landscapes and blue to purple night skies. They find a way to make the country side romantic, gorgeous and ominous all at once.
If you have a taste for gangsters, violence and horror then give Moonshine a read. And this is a trade paperback for only $9.99, what a steal when most run closer to $20. Plus you get the variant cover gallery with great artists like the legendary Frank Miller and more!
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