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Book Review < Back

Pistolwhip vol. 1

Credits: Written by Matt Kindt and Jason Hall and Illustrated by Matt Kindt
Publisher: Top Shelf


I bought PISTOLWHIP on a whim. I don't remember seeing or hearing anything about the book before discovering it on the shelf. It's as if it just Appeared one day, with no fanfare or advanced warning: something fully-formed and found accidentally, almost like an antique.

PISTOLWHIP feels like an anachronism, like a book that slipped out of a seedier (if somehow sweeter) time unexplained and unexpected. PISTOLWHIP is a kind of Pulp Fiction for the radio age, a period-noir that succeeds in being steeped in the past without succumbing to the nostalgic cloying bygone-era tales normally fall victim to - even the artwork is a loving throwback to the Peter Arno style of deco elegance.

Three characters intertwine with one another, and their random-seeming encounters may have been orchestrated for something far more sinister than the violence and mayhem that ensue. And while even the characters on display here are iconic symbols (the PI, the Dame, the Man With Too Many Secrets), PISTOLWHIP delights and engages by reenergizing and defying the conventions of its genre, making sure that not even the hoariest of chestnuts is allowed to exist at face value. At once both throwback and breath of fresh air, PISTOLWHIP is a gem of retro-noir delight.

-- 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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