by Brandon Graham
I've been a big Brandon Graham fan since first learning about his work a little while after the first volume of King City came out. This book, Escalator, collects a number of his earlier comics stories, and it is pretty fantastic from cover to cover.
When I think of Graham's work, I always think of strange and complicated futuristic cities, characters who just seem to get by living in the urban environment, and endless sight gags and puns. All of that is represented here, and the book makes me feel like I'm watching Graham figure out a number of things as a writer and an artist.
In one story, a writer is just trying to get some work done when interrupted by a demon or something, who is trying to take his soul. In another strip, a couple hang out on their balcony. In another story, a young artist and his friend tag trains.
There is definitely an autobiographical feel to much of this book. In one strip, young Graham is having a hard time making things work for himself, and can't help but realize that while he's climbing stairs to a friend's walk-up that he's crashing at, Moebius is probably dreaming of crystals.
This is a very enjoyable book, and a must-have for anyone who has enjoyed King City or Multiple Warheads (there is a MW short here too). If you only know Graham from his amazing writing on Prophet, this is still worth checking out, as you can connect the dots from that work to this.