Written by Biran Buccellato
Art by Noel Tuazon
I was pretty excited to finally be able to sink my teeth into the completed Foster. I'd picked up the first two issues a couple of years ago at TCAF from artist Noel Tuazon, and really enjoyed the beginning of the book. Like many self-published titles though, it kind of disappeared, except for prohibitively expensive 'convention editions' or digital editions available online. Now the whole six issues have been collected into one trade paperback by OSSM Comics, a pretty new company, and I could finally read the whole story.
Foster is set in Vintage City, which is Buccellato's amalgam of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and LA (although it mostly resembles New York), in their dirty seventies and eighties incarnations. The city is run down, as are the people living in it. Eddie Foster is one of the most run-down people around. An alcoholic and a war vet, Foster is haunted by the choices he's made in his life, and mostly spends his time drinking in a crummy apartment, next door to a junkie prostitute he used to date.
One day, he comes home and finds that his neighbour has taken off, and has left her son, Ben, with no one to look after him. Foster takes him home with him, and gets him to school the next day, assuming that his responsibilities are complete. When he gets home, a gigantic man-like creature, a Dweller, shows up looking for the boy. The Dwellers are evolutionary offshots (or maybe forebears) of humanity, who live in secret, preying on the edges of civilization. Lots of people are aware of them, but nobody talks about them, and in their dark trenchcoats, they blend in with the urban decay around them.
As it turns out, Ben is the only hybrid born of a human woman and a Dweller (I'm not sure how they reproduce, because they all look like men to me in this book). Foster does everything he can to keep the kid safe, as the King of the Dwellers wants his son back, and the other Dwellers just want to kill him.
Buccellato really builds the story nicely, and has a good feel for that era. Tuazon's rough pencils are perfect for portraying this kind of world, as everything feels like it has a layer of grit on it. This graphic novel is nicely self-contained, and would work very well as a film. I am very glad I finally got to read the whole story, and recommend checking it out. It's a good chunk of story for only $12.99.