Friday, July 30, 2010


by a whole lot of people

I love good anthologies.  A good comics anthology is one that provides you with a multi-faceted exploration of a theme or topic.  This one looks at organized crime, but doesn't limit itself to mafia-oriented Godfather knock-offs.  There are a few 'gangster' stories, like the one by Darko Macan and Kilian Plunkett that has a bored dentist sign up with some bootleggers in the Prohibition days for some excitement, or Simon Revelstoke and Richard Corben's creepy story of gangster love.

Most of the rest of the tales are merely riffing off the notion of organized crime.  Peter Kuper gives us one of his silent, mosaic-like stories.  Jamie Delano and Randy DuBurke give us a corporate tale, while Dave Gibbons explores post-Soviet Russian mafia business practices.  David Lloyd gives us a tale from the perspective of a drug lord's guard dog who gets recruited by the police (it's much cooler than it sounds).  Scott Cunningham and Danijel Zezelj take a look at the Men in Black as a form of the ultimate gangster.

Perhaps the best story here is the one by Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower, which shows us how a group of bored suburban teens got turned into master cat burglars by the local life guard.  This story reminded me of their classic collaboration 'An Accidental Death', which I now really want to read again.

In all, this is a very skillful and interesting collection.  I know that it's long out of print, but it's worth hunting for on some comic store shelves.

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