by Giannis Milonogiannis
I've liked Giannis Milonogiannis's work on Brandon Graham's Prophet, so I thought it might be time to check out his web-comic turned graphic novel Old City Blues.
This book is set in New Athens in 2048, after a flood wiped out much of Greece, and the country (except for the walled off Old City) was rebuilt with the help of the Japanese Hayashi Corporation. This is a police comic, centred on Detective Solano, who has been investigating a string of strange and seemingly connected murders. They escalate to the point where Mr. Hayashi himself is the target, although a string of clues suggest that it was Hayashi's own company that did him in.
This book is a love letter to manga, and so cops use 'mobile guns', which are armoured suits that can fly above the city tracking criminals. We also have cybernetically enhanced humans, and advanced cars and things like that. I can see why Milonogiannis was tapped to work on Prophet, as there is a similar visual aesthetic, although his work is rougher here than it appears these days.
Milonogiannis uses a lot of speed lines and rough figures to add excitement and kinetic energy to his story. There is minimal character development, and the plot rolls out along somewhat predictable lines. At the same time, there is a level of enthusiasm about this work that is pretty infectious. I see that Archaia has recently released a second volume; I definitely enjoyed this one enough to want to read the new one. I'd be curious to see how Milonogiannis has grown as a writer after working with Graham and his crew for the last couple of years.