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Book Review < Back

Couscous Express

Credits: Written by Brian Wood and Illustrated by Brett Weldele
Publisher: AiT/Planet Lar

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COUSCOUS EXPRESS is a blast of fresh air in a market all-too-often stagnant and flaccid; a slim, adrenalized volume full of scooter girls and killer couriers, Fez-wearing mob thugs and roller blade-wearing kids battling it out on the streets of Brooklyn for the World's Greatest Hummus Recipe. Writer Brian Wood has made a true Pop Comic here, a brisk, action-packed story that rocks and rollicks along feeling all the while like a great album rather than a comic book. Wood's first creator-owned work since CHANNEL ZERO shows him working at the opposite end of the spectrum, crafting a work every bit as airy and fun as CHANNEL ZERO was heavy and dour.

The real trick is that, in the middle of all the action, Wood manages to craft real characters and not fall back on typical archetypes. These kids and their family feel real, they feel like people you know or have known, and then we get the distinctive pleasure of sitting back and watching them thrust into a bullet-laden pageturner. Brett Weldele is a great fit here as well. His frenzied, kinetic style carries us across the pages and panels with an iconic urgency fitting of the story. An action story with a big gooey heart, COUSCOUS EXPRESS is near-perfect comics entertainment.

-- 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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