Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pop Gun War

by Farel Dalrymple

I feel like I would need to read through this one or two more times in order to give an intelligent analysis of this comic, but time (and perhaps intelligence) limit this.

Dalrymple's comic made me think of the Dadaist and Surrealist poetry and literature I read in university, but on a much more enjoyable level, because of the high quality of Dalrymple's art. The book is a highly impressionistic affair, dipping into the varied and unique lives of a group of New Yorkers.

The book opens with an angel crashing to Earth, and having his wings cut off by some guy with a chainsaw. He dumps the wings in the garbage, where they are recovered by Sinclair, a young boy with a penchant for wearing bow ties. Eventually, his own wings start growing.

Sinclair's sister, who looks to be about seven, is a singer in a band, and wise beyond her ears. Some of the other characters in this book are Addison, a homeless man who seems powerless to the machinations of others; Sunshine, a dwarf who is growing into a giant and whose companion is a flying talking fish ('Da Fug?'); Mr. Grimshaw, who works for an important corporation and carries around a severed, talking head in a bag; among others.

One of the most interesting characters is Harold Dollpimple, who appears towards the end of the book, and is revealed to have been manipulating some events. That his name has such a strong similarity to the author's can not be a mistake.

Pop Gun War has a lot of similarities to the work that Dalrymple did in his recent Omega the Unknown series for Marvel, picking up on the same themes of urban alienation and strangeness, and being even more surreal. There may not be a ton of plot in this book, but it is an interesting and thought-provoking piece of work.

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