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Book Review < Back

Volcanic Revolver

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Scott Morse
Publisher: Oni Press


Vincenzo is a bit of a goombah renaissance man: baker, painter, surrogate father, counterfeiter. When the rival Irish mob delivers a bomb to his bakery early one morning, Vincenzo finds himself desperate to remove the malocchio (that's evil eye to you and me, as the convenient glossary at the end informs me) put upon him and his intimates. Vincenzo starts with his pistol, an antique repeater (the malapropism of the title is indeed explained), and a sprawling web of revenge spreads out from there.

VOLCANIC REVOLVER is a tiny little marvel as unique as the Smith and Wesson pistol from which it takes its title. Told in long, slender panels running the horizontal length of the page, Morse unravels his mob war story on an intimate, human scale in lieu of the big action moments thick with violence most of us come to expect from mafia tales. Sure, there ARE the occasional stabbing-in-the-face bits, or the shooting-up-a-room-of-guys bits, but these explosions serve are literal, legitimate punctuation marks to the rest of the tale, as VOLCANIC REVOLVER is really about people living through it.

From little details like dangling scissors in the window (the sign of the curse, of course), to the downtrodden Padre nursing his sick dog, Morse hits these minor, quiet notes with a deft confidence most would either forget or ignore. VOLCANIC REVOLVER, too, is the same way.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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